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USDA To End Experiments Leading To Destruction Of Kittens

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Jennifer C.
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Flickr.com

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.

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.”

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Credit Alex Ranaldi / Flickr.com
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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.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ 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 (19 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.
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