Please Sign No Killing Kittens for USDA Research

News is breaking that the United States Department of Agriculture is using hundreds of healthy kittens for scientific research and then killing them once the experiment is done. We must put a stop to this cruel and inhumane practice now.

Sign now to tell Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue that the killing of healthy kittens by the USDA must stop!

White Coat Waste Project, a nonpartisan taxpayer watchdog group, is reporting that the USDA facility in Beltsville, MD, has for years been using kittens for research into Toxoplasma gondii. For the research, up to 100 healthy kittens each year are purposely fed infected meat so that the parasite can be collected from their feces, and after 2-3 weeks of collection, the kittens are killed and incinerated. The Project found out about the experiments through documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request.

This has been happening at the USDA for decades; how many hundreds or thousands of healthy and adoptable kittens have fallen victim to this cruel experiment?

On Monday, Michigan congressman Michael D. Bishop sent a stern letter to Secretary Perdue, expressing concern and dismay over the experiment. "As you can imagine, I was shocked to hear that the USDA, the very organization set out to enforce animal welfare laws and regulations, was treating the life of animals with such contempt," Rep. Bishop wrote. The letter continued, "…it appears that this project uses kittens as test tubes. Put simply, it creates life to destroy life."

The USDA does not even attempt to adopt out or find homes for these helpless kittens, who are healthy at the end of the experiments and pose almost no risk to potential adopters.

In fact, non-animal alternatives already exist for studying toxoplasma gondii. According to a review in Trends in Parasitology, using test tube samples of toxoplasma gondii is an effective method of studying and experimenting on the parasite. There is no need to force kittens to suffer, especially when humane alternatives exist.

This cruel practice must be stopped. Kittens are not lab material to be discarded. Please sign and share our petition and join us in demanding that Secretary Perdue put an immediate stop to these inhumane experiments at the USDA.

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