USDA Poisons, Incinerates Kittens for 'Critical Research'

(Tomas Ovalle/AP Images for Macy's)

A new report from taxpayer watchdog White Coat Waste reveals that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been conducting tests on kittens and then incinerating the baby cats when they are finished with their experiments. The government has been conducting these experiments on kittens since 1970, courtesy of the taxpayers’ wallets.


As first reported by Washington, DC ABC affiliate WJLA and Christian Broadcasting Network, documents obtained by WCW through the Freedom of Information Act–including experimental protocols, animal purchase orders and photographs–show that a USDA Agricultural Research Service laboratory breeds 100 kittens a year, feeds the 2-month-old kittens Toxoplasma-infected raw meat, collects their feces for 2-3 weeks to harvest the parasite for use in other experiments, and then kills, bags and incinerates the kittens like they’re trash.

The kittens are healthy after the experiments and able to be adopted and live a normal life. The government would prefer to set them on fire and kill them.

The USDA kills all of the kittens, even though it admits that virtually all of them are healthy after the experiments. Expert authorities–including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–agree that the Toxoplasma-exposed cats are safe and adoptable because after just one Toxoplasma exposure, cats shed the parasite, become immune and won’t transmit to humans or other animals.

What kind of sick and twisted sociopaths are working in a USDA lab, where they regularly set kittens on fire? How can someone participate in such a thing unless their soul is dead? It’s against the law to set a kitten on fire anywhere other than a government lab, so why is this practice acceptable anywhere?


Senator Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue asking about this despicable practice.  It “appears that this project uses kittens as test tubes. Put simply, it creates life to destroy life. While I support the objective of making food safer and protecting people and animals from infectious diseases, we must ensure taxpayer dollars are used effectively, efficiently, and humanely.”

CNN contacted the animal-murdering agency to hear what they had to say.

In response to a CNN inquiry, a spokesperson for the Agricultural Research Service said that the estimate of 100 cats used in USDA research was a “serious over estimation” and called cats “essential to the success of this critical research.”

“The Agricultural Research Service-USDA (ARS) makes every effort to minimize the number of cats used to produce eggs required to research one of the most widespread parasites in the world. The cats are essential to the success of this critical research,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also said that USDA doesn’t seek adoptions of the cats used in the research because of the potential risks to adoptive families.

“Our goal is to reduce the spread of toxoplasmosis. Adopting laboratory cats could, unfortunately, undermine that goal, potentially causing severe infections, especially with unborn children or those with immunodeficiencies,” the spokesperson said. “ARS regularly inspects research animals and complies with best management practices in animal research.”


Is spending 50 years incinerating kittens considered “best management practices in animal research”? I don’t think so. Maybe we need to revisit those “best management practices in animal research.” I don’t want my tax dollars paying for this.


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