USDA: Please stop killing kittens

Mike Ryan, September 19, 2018

In case you missed it, today we made an offer to the USDA that we hope they’ll accept.

It relates to this gruesome playbook they’ve been running since the 1980’s in Beltsville, MD:

Step 1: Order 50-100 kittens (2 months old) from a breeder in Iowa
Step 2: Cage the kittens and give them food poisoning when they’re 8 weeks old
Step 3: Collect stool samples from the kittens to study later
Step 4: Two weeks later, kill and incinerate the kittens (before they’re 3 months old.)
Step 5: Rinse and repeat. Since 1982, they’ve killed nearly 3,000 kittens this way.

Wait, why is USDA killing kittens?

USDA isn’t killing them because the kittens are fatally sick, or even to study the dead kittens. USDA’s killing them because they just don’t need them anymore (all the experimenters want is the stool sample, not the kitten).

Adoption is an option (that’s been ignored)

The fact is, all these kittens need – at most – is a standard course of routine antibiotics, and then they can be adopted by someone who will care for them. Shelters and rescues around the country treat and adopt out tens of thousands of animals every year that are much sicker than these cats.

Congress to USDA: Explore adoption

Not only can they be adopted, but thanks to Senator Booker, Senator Merkley, a unanimous vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and key support from several House Members as well, Congress passed language that will take effect later this year directing USDA to explore how to end its kitten testing and adopt out these animals instead of killing them. In other words, Congress wants USDA to change their ways, and we want to help them.

Our offer to USDA:

  • When you’re done with these kittens, give them to NEAVS.

  • We’ll pay for the cost of transporting them to a veterinary clinic where they’ll get routine antibiotics.

  • We’ll then work with our network of rescues to ensure every kitten is adopted out into a loving family.

  • This will save USDA from having to pay for euthanasia drugs, incineration and disposal, meaning that if USDA takes our offer, we’ll being saving taxpayer dollars, too.

You can help these kittens

Your donation will allow us to keep fighting for these animals.