WASHINGTON (CNN) — A Democratic senator and a Republican congressman are teaming up to stop the United States Department of Agriculture from euthanizing kittens.
Senator Jeff Merkley on Wednesday introduced a Senate version of the “KITTEN” Act of 2018.
“KITTEN” stands for “kittens in traumatic testing ends now.”
Merkley says the USDA breeds up to 100 kittens a year, then feeds them parasite-infected meat in to have the parasite’s eggs harvested for experiments.
He says the kittens are then euthanized.
USDA’s Agricultural Research service did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the legislation Wednesday.
In May a spokesman said the use of cats is “essential” to research to combat a widespread parasite.
The spokesman said the figure of 100 cats euthanized a quote “serious over-estimation.”
Outgoing Republican Congressman Mike Bishop introduced the house version of Merkley’s bill.