A new bill banning the purchase of animal meat from Chinese wet markets is pending after a laboratory is slammed for feeding cat cats from China.
Thousands of kittens were forced to feed the cat meat to a laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to support experiments studying the parasite that causes ‘toxoplasmosis,’ a potentially deadly human foodborne illness.
The U.S. Dept of Agriculture research lab is no longer allowed to conduct its kitten experiments after reportedly using cat meat and puppy parts from Chinese wet markets between 2003 and 2015.
Last year, the Kitten Act 2018 passed calling for the kittens to be adopted and the experiments to be banned.
A new law is now being introduced for Chinese wet markets that would ban US tax money in the future.
The calls are led by a bipartisan group of senators and at the same time in Chinese “wet markets” that have been scrutinized as contamination hotspots, including the SARS outbreak and the current coronavirus pandemic.
The latest viral outbreak is said to come from live animals trapped in a wet market in Wuhan. While that claim is disputed, he has drawn attention to animal welfare issues.
The new Chinese wet market law is supported by Senators Joni Ernst, Mike Braun, Jeff Merkley and Joe Manchin.
Senator Ms. Ernst, a republican representative of Iowa, told NBCnews, “As Iowans and all Americans continue to battle Covid-19, we must do everything we can to ensure that it never happens again.
“This includes preventing more US tax dollars from going to unregulated” wet markets “in China.”
Senator Ernst added to abc7WJLA: “What a waste of our money as Americans to finance filthy inhumane conditions in China and then return those tiny body parts of puppies and cats to the United States in checked baggage.
“I was absolutely shocked and can’t imagine continuing that practice, so we are very grateful that the Trump administration put an end to it and we hope that with legislation we can prevent a future administration from taking our tax dollars to those dirty ones wet markets. “
Jim Keen, a former USDA scientist, reflected on what was happening in the lab and told NBC News that the experiments sounded “crazy.”
“Cannibal cats, cats that eat dogs – I don’t understand the logic,” he said.
Justin Goodman, the vice president of Advocacy & Public Policy for at White Coat Waste Project, a taxpayer-funded watchdog that successfully campaigned to end the practice, explained how a Freedom of Information Act petition revealed what happened happened in the lab.
He told abc7WJLA: “White Coat Waste Project through a Freedom of Information Act obtained documents demonstrating how researchers at the USDA flew to China to buy animals, cat and puppy parts, in wet markets and then brought them back here to be forced carry kittens in experiments with cannibalism at the USDA. “
The findings show that in September 2006, eight cats came from China.
Commenting on the news on the draft wet markets law, he said, “We have no control over what China does, but we can control whether or not taxpayers are forced to become customers of wet markets.”
In response to the concerns raised, a USDA spokesperson sent an email to abc7WJLA, the last purchase of feline specimens in China was in 2006 at the Changban Free Market in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
The spokesman said USDA “never bought live animals, including cats and dogs, from Chinese meat markets; did not buy feline specimens from wet markets in Wuhan, China; did not pay animals for research at Chinese meat markets,” and bought only feline specimens that slaughtered by Chinese market vendors for food in accordance with the laws of the People’s Republic of China. “
The USDA has been contacted for an explanation.