In an attempt to halt the needless slaughter of innocent felines, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) has offered to take all the unwanted cats and kittens used in experiments by the USDA.
Since 1982, nearly 3,000 cats and kittens have been killed at the USDA Animal Research Service (ARS) center in Beltsville, Maryland after the animals were cruelly experimented on and discarded.
According to NEAVS, the research facility orders up to 100 2-month-old kittens at a time from an Iowa breeder, gives them food infected with the Toxoplasma parasite, and collects their feces for testing. Two weeks later, the kittens are no longer needed, so they are euthanized and incinerated.
“The USDA may consider these kittens trash, but we don’t. If the USDA simply agrees to our offer, NEAVS will make sure these animals get into loving homes, and soon,” said NEAVS director of policy and government affairs Mike Ryan.
Although these kittens are infected with a parasite, the condition is easily treatable. Yet the animals are still murdered instead of being adopted into suitable homes to live out the rest of their lives.
Thankfully, many in Washington are pushing for a change in this cruel practice. Congress has passed a bill — to go into effect later this year — instructing the USDA to explore ways to adopt these animals instead of killing them, as well as end testing on kittens altogether.
With Congress pushing for procedure changes and NEAVS offering to cover all costs related to the rescue of these cats — including transport, antibiotics and rehoming — there’s no reason for the USDA to continue. In fact, the agency will save money by not having to pay for euthanasia and incineration.
“Congress has told the USDA to consider an adoption model instead of automatically killing these kittens,” said Ryan. “We’re happy to pay any and all costs associated with getting these kittens into safe, loving homes. We’re hopeful USDA will eventually agree to this.”