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Merkley's KITTEN Act Would End USDA's Testing And Euthanization Of Young Cats

Andrea Kirkby

Save the kittens, say a bipartisan group of politicians.  That includes Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, who’s introduced a bill aimed at ending a USDA practice that results in the euthanization of young cats.

Merkley says every year since the 70s, a lab in Maryland feeds roughly 100 kittens meat containing parasites. The parasites’ eggs are then harvested from the cat’s feces for study.

“And then when that process is done, instead of treating the kittens for the parasites which they contend is a pretty straightforward process, they’re just put to death.  That’s just not the right way to look at treating animals.”

Credit Medill DC / Flickr.com
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, Oregon Democrat.

Merkley says the kittens could be treated -then adopted- by loving families.

Due to the government shutdown, a USDA laboratory representative wasn’t available for comment. But in a CNN report, one was quoted as saying the kittens were “essential” for the research.

Merkley partnered with Michigan Republican Mike Bishop on the Kittens In Traumatic Testing Ends Now (KITTEN) Act last year.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.