You remember the big news story about a year ago in which it was reported that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) was using cats to do tests on toxoplasmosis at a Maryland facility. Millions were spent over a long period of time and the cats were fed raw meat infected with toxoplasmosis. The cats were killed afterwards despite the fact that they were treatable. Overall the program cost about $22 million and about 3000 cats were killed by the USDA.
Well, on this page there are two pictures. In one (above) Sen Jeff Merkley is seen holding Delilah in his office on Capitol Hill on July 25, 2019. Delilah was born at the facility in 2013 and used to breed kittens for experiments. In the other photograph (below) you can see her in a cat stroller (what a great way to use a cat stroller) meeting Rep. Brian Mast on the same day. I really like both pictures. It is a unique meeting.
Both Merkley and Mast had championed the legislation with the acronym KITTEN-Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now. This resulted in the programme being terminated.
“It’s not often that you necessarily get to just, you know, have in your office and see the results of some of the work that you do. For the, it’s nice to have you bring them in here, and to see the results of a little bit of the work that we got to do out there.” – Rep. Mast.
In addition, a cat named Petite, was also brought to Capitol Hill. You have to mention the organisation White Coat Waste Project (WCWP) who unearthed this animal abuse and presented their findings to lawmakers who could do something about it. It’s a non-profit that combats wasteful government spending on animal testing. They also brought the cats to Capitol Hill.
“When I heard about the absolutely unnecessary slaughter of these animals, I just thought that’s just wrong, we don’t treat animals that way, and let’s apply some pressure and try to change it. And so I feel like I was a partner at the last moment after they’ve done all the real work.”- Merkley about the WCWP.