We need transparency in SUNY cat experiments

I am very concerned that the State University of New York (SUNY) has failed to comply with Freedom of Information Law in releasing records regarding highly invasive experiments on kittens and cats at the SUNY College of Optometry.

These experiments have been funded since 1983 through a grant by the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, and have not resulted in any treatments for vision disorders since they began decades ago.

Not only has this research proven to be expensive and medically fruitless, it is gruesome and highly injurious. Young cats, 4 to 12 months old, are surgically dissected and kept alive during experiments that remove their skulls to insert electrodes to probe their brains. These grisly procedures go on for hours, or perhaps even days.

This taxpayer-funded research is subject to reasonable scrutiny under Freedom of Information laws to enable citizens, advocacy groups and Congress to assure compliance with animal welfare laws.  SUNY has thus far failed to release appropriate records on animal care and treatment to provide this assurance.

As you are likely aware, Congressional oversight recently led to the end of decades-long experiments at USDA that needlessly killed hundreds of cats and kittens in bogus experiments, alleging food safety.

I appreciate your intervention, as my representative in Congress, to assure SUNY’s prompt compliance with the laws mandating the release of information about the experiments in question.