Following an intensive year-long White Coat Waste Project (WCW) campaign, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just announced it is ending all cat experiments and adopting out the 14 cats remaining at its laboratory. The news comes just two weeks after WCW released its report exposing the USDA’s kitten cannibalism experiments using cats and dogs purchased from meat markets in China.
WCW first exposed the USDA’s secretive kitten laboratory in May 2018 using the Freedom of Information Act and launched the grassroots and lobbying campaign to shut it down. It was the largest kitten experimentation lab in the entire federal government and a program that was taxpayer-funded for nearly 50 years. The USDA wasted over $22 million and slaughtered and incinerated more than 3,000 health kittens. It continued to spend $650,000 annually and kill up to 100 kittens in the project, but that’s now been stopped for good.
Over one million WCW supporters called on USDA to stop the testing and release the cats. WCW’s first amendment lawsuit compelled the State of Maryland to run our eye-catching bus and train ads criticizing the testing. And our open records lawsuit forced USDA to turn over documents about its “kitten slaughterhouse.”
Congress responded almost immediately to WCW’s exposé. Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), former Rep. Mike Bishop (D-MI) and Senator Jeff Merkley introduced the bipartisan KITTEN Act to end the USDA’s cat experiments. The bill, which was reintroduced for the new Congressional session just two weeks ago by Panetta, Merkley and Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Will Hurd (R-TX) has already garnered over 50 Republican and Democrat cosponsors so far this Congressional session. Last year, Congress and President Trump also enacted legislation urging the USDA to end the testing and adopt out the cats.
This is a historic victory and we’re proud to share it with the 2 million WCW supporters who helped make it possible!