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The Tale of Two Lab Kittens: The One We Saved, the One We Didn’t, and Why It’s Historic

May 17, 2021
A dead macaque at macaque breeding facility. Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals Media

If animals are biologically similar enough to humans to legitimatize testing on them, then they are similar enough to humans to make testing/researching on them unethical.

100,000,000 animal victims are exploited yearly for animal testing/research each year in just the United States alone. For those who champion the Animal Welfare Act as “protective”, know that 95% of all animals exploited for vivisection/testing are specifically exempt from AWA “protections” and their suffering and violent deaths are therefore not even legally required to be recorded.

For animals socially accepted as “worthy”, such as primates, cats, and dogs, also know even given AWA “protections” they are still often legally denied pain relief, and it’s anyone’s guess how many of the “un-reportable” ones intentionally suffer violent pain as well.

USDA, page 7

“Animals research facilities used in activities involving pain or distress and for which administering pain relieving drugs would adversely affect results”:

As I always ask, why do people promote laws that require such suffering and violence and death? How can abuse ever be considered “humane” or based on “welfare”? The intentional manipulation of language to deliver moral comfort to the abusers and not the victims is victim-blaming on such a despicable scale it’s disturbingly bizarre the ease with which people accept it, especially when those very laws/regulations cause the SAME suffering and violent death to animals covered as they do to those animals NOT covered.

And if you are one of the many who champion animal research as valid by intellectually superior humans, why aren’t you intellectually superior enough to determine alternative methods of research that doesn’t require suffering and violence on those most vulnerable and incapable of consent? SL

Source Sentient Media

By Anthony Bellotti

All pictures sourced from Sentient Media

his is a tale of two cats, Petite and Sif. As kittens, they were sold by the same “kitten mill” to the United States government to be abused then killed in painful taxpayer-funded experiments. 

Petite (a.k.a. government ID #15KEY5) was sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Kitten Slaughterhouse”. For Sif (a.k.a. government ID #17LFC4), the destination was the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

White Coat Waste Project (WCWP) recently shut down Sif’s home. Two years prior, we gave Petite’s lab the same treatment. However, the two kittens’ stories diverge from there.

The One We Saved

Petite’s story is the pure distillation of something we call “FOIA to freedom”. Our investigators started with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into Petite’s secret government laboratory. Through that FOIA request, they found out that Petite was sold to USDA’s Kitten Slaughterhouse in 2016 by a company called Liberty Research that supplies animals to government labs. She was just over a year old.

The government noted that she was a “little cat.” So it gave her the name Lil Petite. 

This is the actual receipt for Petite’s purchase from Liberty Research.

The feds turned Petite into a breeder— an incubator for more lab specimens.

For nearly half a century, the USDA slaughtered and incinerated 3,000 of these healthy and adoptable kittens in toxoplasmosis experiments. The USDA also purchased cat and dog meat from China’s live animal markets and fed it to Petite’s kittens in cannibalism experiments. The USDA’s decades-long kitten experimentation cost over $22 million taxpayer dollars.

Think about that for a minute: dog and cat meat markets abroad. Taxpayer-funded animal experimentation at home.

WCWP exposed the USDA’s receipts to the international media. Then we united 3 million liberty lovers and animal lovers and rallied “Waste Warriors” in Congress to close Petite’s lab and retire the survivors. From FOIA to freedom, it took about a year to defund and defeat one of the largest cat labs in the entire federal government. 

Petite, on the ride home, the day WCWP rescued her from USDA’s Kitten Slaughterhouse.

The One We Didn’t

A young kitten named Sif was also bred by Liberty Research but sold to a different government lab on May 8, 2018. She, too, was just past her first birthday. 

Sif was bought by the Los Angeles VA Medical Center—one of three taxpayer-funded kitten labs the VA has been operating, alongside labs in Cleveland and Louisville. WCWP discovered Sif’s secretive lab by piecing together data from FOIA requests, government spending records, federal databases, and lawsuits. 

Our investigators later determined from internal VA documents obtained through a FOIA lawsuit that live cats had holes drilled in their skulls at the VA lab. The victims were suffocated, their oxygen cut off as part of ongoing sleep experiments. Electrodes were implanted into their brains. Some had electrodes implanted in their tongues and chins, as well, and had “head caps” cemented to their fractured skulls. Once deemed no longer useful, blood was drained from their bodies. Then their brains were removed for dissection. 

The grants funding the VA’s cat experiments, in total, have cost taxpayers over $10 million, according to records obtained by WCWP.

The VA doesn’t want you to know the details of what they did to Sif. WCWP had to sue them to get her records.

The last record of Sif’s life is dated January 2020. It’s of Sif’s weight. She was 3.44 kilograms—about 7.5 pounds. 

Just a wee cat, too, like Petite. 

In March 2021, a brave whistleblower came forward and exposed how the VA had killed Sif and every other kitten. But Sif’s death was a bittersweet coda to another great victory.

Why It’s Historic

Just days after our lawsuit, and following advocacy from the world-famous Kitten Lady, CBS News confirmed that WCWP’s investigation had ended all cat experiments at the Los Angeles VA. One down, two to go. And with the closure of USDA’s Kitten Slaughterhouse, the VA now operates the U.S. government’s last major kitten labs. 

Cleveland and Louisville are ground zero in WCWP’s historic campaign to end all painful cat experiments across the entire federal government. That’s why dozens of Democrats and Republicans in Congress are reaching across party lines to pass the CATS Act

Petite and Delilah in their post-government lab home.

Petite now lives in a loving home, probably a lot like yours. Her favorite activities include snuggling, head bonks, and making biscuits. She’s gone from lab cat to lap cat.

I know how much Petite loves her new life because I actually adopted her. Petite and Delilah, another Kitten Slaughterhouse survivor, live with me and my partner. So this tale of two cats is very personal to me. But it’s personal for you too. The government is still using your money to abuse kittens.

When the money stops, the killing stops. With your help, we’ll close this shameful chapter and dump wasteful government cat experiments into the litter box of history.Read More

Anthony is the president and founder of White Coat Waste Project, a 3-million-member watchdog group that works to find, expose and defund $20 billion in wasteful taxpayer-funded animal experiments.

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We stand in defiance against pseudoscience

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2021 4:30 am

    We stand in defiance against pseudoscience

    Liked by 3 people

    • May 17, 2021 9:20 am

      Perfectly stated, and I’ll add that justice doesn’t require genius, my ignorance doesn’t mitigate others’ exploitation of it, or of animals in general, for “science”. Thank you, hon. ❤


  2. hocuspocus13 permalink
    May 17, 2021 5:23 am

    Wild Horse round ups in America every year between July & October

    Horses are sold/given off to slaughter

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 17, 2021 9:16 am

      Disgustingly, sadly, and unethically inhumane-ly, there really is no animal safe from human exploitation, or even the potential for such, until speciesism is abolished.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. May 18, 2021 4:21 am

    What a horror… I admit that I have more and more difficulty reading about animals abused in laboratories and other places… there is no sense.
    Experimentation on them should be prohibited! Reading here and there about the reasons, sometimes you run into very harsh and horrifying observations, in which you are accused of cowardice and even wish you to get cancer and not be able to be healed since you are against animal experiments.
    These poor creatures are abused in a million different ways… they are not only the humans eating them, but apparently they are considered “objects” and the worst tortures are inflicted on them in the name of science.
    That’s enough. Sometimes I admit that I prefer not to read, not to look at photos or films, I prefer to avoid psychological suffering and feel cowardly because I can not do anything to change the state of things. Our planet is full of trash (and human’s trash as well).
    I just hope I don’t have to reincarnate anymore in a human body on this planet…
    Forgive me for the outburst Tracey, but I’m just not in the best mood today.
    A hug claudine

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 18, 2021 8:15 am

      I am so sorry your comment needed moderation, it should only do that if someone posts more than one link, your words never need approval before they’re published here, my dear. 🙂

      And you never have to apologize for caring, hon, it’s the people who AREN’T angry or upset at such torture that concern me. And not agreeing with animal research/testing does not mean you want humans to suffer, that’s an irrational association that the pro-test minions like to exploit to foster social approval for the torment they inflict on innocents: people love defining others’ suffering and pain and general exploitation in manners that brings them comfort but never the victims. There is nothing ethical or humane about controlling and killing another’s body, to not be angry is disturbing.

      Take care of yourself, beautiful Claudine, your words, no matter how you use them or what emotion inspires them, are always welcome here. xox ❤


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