USDA To End Experiments Leading To Destruction Of Kittens

Apr 2, 2019

The USDA says it’s officially ending a controversial experiment that involves kittens. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, Oregon lawmakers and animal welfare advocates are delighted.

Credit Jennifer C. /

For decades, a lab in Maryland has bred up to 100 kittens a year, feeding them meat containing parasites. After harvesting the parasite’s eggs from their feces, the kittens were destroyed despite being treatable for the parasite.

Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley was a lead sponsor of the so-called KITTEN Act (Kittens In Traumatic Testing Ends Now), that would end the experiments.  In a statement, Merkley says the USDA has made the right call in ending the “archaic practice.”

Credit Alex Ranaldi /

Cary Lieberman, Executive Director of the Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene, also applauds the news.

“Animal life should be respected," Liberman tells KLCC.  "There’s not necessarily a move right now to end testing on live animals but if there’s a possibility of healing and treating the animals, and then adopting them into loving homes afterwards, those opportunities should be taken.”

Congress estimates $650,000 in taxpayer money has funded the USDA experiments since 1970.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.