Good news! On April 2, the USDA announced that it would end its experiments using kittens for toxoplasmosis research!
An investigation last year revealed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been operating a cruel and unacceptable research project that has killed more than 200 kittens in the past five years alone. In response to the investigation’s findings, legislation has been introduced in Congress to put a stop to the experiments.
Alley Cat Allies is mobilizing supporters to urge legislators to pass the Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now (KITTEN) Act. The KITTEN Act would prevent the USDA from purchasing, breeding, and using any more cats and kittens in painful, stressful, and deadly experiments.
The USDA’s taxpayer-funded testing involves feeding healthy kittens meat infected with the toxoplasma parasite in order to study the disease toxoplasmosis. Once testing is finished, the kittens are killed.
Last year’s investigation revealed the death toll for the past five years, but the research project has been running since 1970. Every year, the USDA spent $650,000 of taxpayers’ money to infect and then kill kittens in a laboratory in Maryland. Thousands of kittens have been killed over these past decades, and the project is set to be funded through May of 2021.
Alley Cat Allies is condemning the unacceptable research and supporting the KITTEN Act to end it permanently. Not only are the experiments horrific, but killing the kittens afterwards is unnecessary. People rarely contract toxoplasmosis from cats and doing so requires direct contact with and then ingestion of infected feces. The kittens could have been adopted into loving homes instead.