BELTSVILLE, Md. - A Congressman has called for an investigation into the alleged killing of hundreds of kittens at a U.S. Department of Agriculture test lab in Prince George's County.
Congressman Mike Bishop of Michigan announced on Tuesday that he sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue expressing concerns about the USDA lab in Beltsville.
In the letter, Bishop said hundreds of kittens are bred, fed parasite-infected raw meat for two to three weeks and then killed by "incineration." Bishop said the USDA admits the kittens are healthy at the end of the study.
"I'm shocked and disturbed that for decades the USDA--the very organization charged with enforcing animal welfare laws--has been unnecessarily killing hundreds of kittens inexpensive and inefficient lab experiments," Bishop said in a written statement. "Any government research program like this one that's been funded since the Nixon administration needs to be put under the microscope, especially when it involves using kittens as disposable test tubes in harmful tests that most taxpayers oppose."
His letter calls for an investigation into the program and questions why the kittens are killed instead of being offered for adoption. Bishop also urged researchers to find a different method for their experiments that do not use kittens and questions how much research has been conducted to find an alternative that is more humane.
FOX 5 has reached out to the USDA for comment but they have not responded to our request at this time.