The USDA fed kittens with Toxoplasma-infected raw meat then discarded them by incineration at 2-3 weeks of age having harvested toxoplasma oocysts.
In a letter written by Congressman Michael D. Bishop to the Secretary of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, he reveals to the world that the USDA have been breeding kittens in their hundreds over many years and feeding them with toxoplasma-infected raw meat so that scientists can harvest toxoplasma oocysts from their poop. They then incinerate them. The USDA protocol calls for the use of 100 kittens annually.
From my standpoint, and I believe I speak for the majority of American taxpayers, I don’t think you could envisage a more abusive form of animal testing than this. And it has been carried out by the USDA. Congressman Michael D. Bishop says that this is the very organization which has a responsibility to enforce animal welfare laws and regulations. He says that this government agency is treating animals with contempt and of course, if it is true, his statement is also true.
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I am told by wjla.com that an organization ‘White Coat Waste Project‘ discovered the experiments through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Michael D Bishop was referring to a research project called “Toxoplasmosis in Cats”. It has been carried out at the USDA’s Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, USA. The project entails the breeding of hundreds of kittens and harvesting toxoplasma oocysts from them. The kittens are discarding by “incineration”.
In addition to the shocking news that Congressman Bishop’s letter brings to the general public, he also states that there has been inaccurate pain reporting by the USDA. Congressman Bishop states that the researchers “significantly under-reported the amount of pain and distress that will be caused to the kittens”.
Apparently, the pain reporting problems were corrected in 2017. However, a subsequent report indicates that the laboratory is still mis-categorizing the kittens as suffering from little or no pain or distress (pain category C).
The USDA argues that toxoplasmosis cannot be produced in a cell culture or by any other animal species. Mr Bishop asked whether the USDA have investigated more efficient and more humane alternatives to the use of kittens in producing toxoplasma oocysts.
Also, there is the outstanding question as to why the USDA did not adopt out the kittens. Of course, you could argue that the whole program is flawed and inhumane but if it must take place why aren’t the kittens adopted out to homes? The USDA admit that the kittens do not usually become sick and can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
Given this information, why are the kittens killed rather than treated and adopted out to taxpayers who are funding the research? Congressman Bishop asks whether the USDA have a policy or procedure for adopting out these kittens.
At the time of writing this, I understand that Mr Bishop and the online press including Fox5, which is the source of this article, are awaiting a response from the USDA.
I have published the letter on this page.
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