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

Jan 5, 2019

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.

Credit Andrea Kirkby /

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.”

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

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.

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