End Cruel Research on Cats by the USDA

Federal Legislation

The Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now (KITTEN) Act, S 708/HR 1622, has been reintroduced in Congress to end the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) painful and deadly experiments on cats.

The KITTEN Act was first introduced last year in response to revelations that a USDA facility in Maryland was breeding and killing cats for ongoing toxoplasmosis research, in which kittens are exposed to the parasitic disease and then killed. That legislative attempt failed—but since that time, even more horrific research using cats has surfaced, making it imperative that Congress act to end these experiments now.

This legislation would amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to prohibit USDA research facilities from purchasing, breeding, transporting, housing, feeding, maintaining, disposing of or experimenting on cats as part of any study that would cause potential pain or stress to cats—including experiments where analgesics are administered to deal with the pain.

This would be the first time the AWA was amended to end specific research on a species of animal and it could set a welcome precedent for future efforts to curtail research using other animals.

Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and ask them to support the KITTEN Act. 

State Updates

Legislation has been introduced in states across the country to further the welfare of animals in the laboratory, to end the use of animals for product safety testing and to remove dissection from the classroom. Here are the latest updates.

In California, AB 1586, to prohibit public and private school students from performing dissection in grades K-12, was referred to the Committee on Education. A hearing may be held as early as April 1.


In Hawaii, HB 704, to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the state, passed the House on March 5, was recommended for passage by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health, and is waiting for a hearing before the Senate Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.


In Illinois, SB 241, to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the state, unanimously passed the Senate on March 21 and was sent to the House for consideration.


In Oregon, SB 638, to require that healthy animals used for research be adopted instead of euthanized after the research is complete, has been revised to include only dogs and cats instead of all animals in the laboratory. The bill was approved by the committee and is moving through the Senate.


In Washington, SB 5212, to require the adoption of healthy dogs and cats used for science or research purposes, passed the Senate and is waiting on a vote from the House Committee on College & Workforce Development.


If you live in one of the states listed above, be sure to tell your legislators that you support the passage of that state’s respective bill. You can go to the NAVS Advocacy Center to send a letter, or sign up to get legislative alerts emailed directly to you.

Want to do more? Visit the NAVS Advocacy Center to TAKE ACTION on behalf of animals in your state and around the country. And please make a donation today to support the advancement of humane legislation across the U.S. 
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This entry was posted in News on March 28, 2019.
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