Washington — U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop is questioning Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue about taxpayer-funded research experiments on cats and kittens performed at a Maryland laboratory that has led to the deaths of hundreds of healthy cats.
Bishop, a Rochester Republican, wrote Monday to Perdue saying it appears the decades-old “project uses kittens as test tubes.”
He cited documents reviewed by his office showing that kittens bred at the Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, are fed parasite-infected raw meat for two to three weeks to collect parasites from their feces, then euthanized and discarded by “incineration.”
Bishop says the Agriculture Department has been conducting the research since at least 1982, uses up to 100 kittens a year and was still active as of last month. The lab is a facility of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
“As you can imagine, I was shocked to hear that the USDA, the very organization set out to enforce animal welfare laws and regulations, was treating the life of animals with such contempt,” wrote Bishop, who is not a cat owner.
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