Watchdog group sues Md. after state says no to anti-kitten lab ads on buses, trains

Watchdog group sues Md. after state says no to anti-kitten lab ads on buses, trains (ABC7)

A new development is happening in the battle to stop the USDA from killing healthy kittens at a Maryland research lab.

White Coat Waste Project, a D.C.-based taxpayers watchdog group, just filed a lawsuit against the state of Maryland after it was told it couldn't put ads protesting the experiments on public buses and trains.

It just got a big fat no from the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland.

In the ad, the taxpayer watchdog group criticizes the killing of thousands of healthy kittens over the past 40 years at a Maryland USDA lab-funded with your tax dollars.

"Maryland is unfortunately ground zero for taxpayer-funded kitten torture and people riding the buses and trains have a right to know about it," said Justin Goodman with White Coat Waste Project.

In June, the group made the request to place five posters on MARC trains and others on RTA buses.

In the lawsuit, White Coat claims MDOT said the ad would be considered objectionable and or controversial; plus, it depicts or describes violence.

Read a copy of the White Coat Waste Project lawsuit below:

\White Coat asked RTA and MDOT for its written policy on why the ad isn't allowed on its buses. White Coat says it hasn’t received any policy.

"Not only did they not hand over a policy they actually told us they don't have one,” said Goodman.

The I-Team asked both RTA and MDOT for its written policy on advertisements. MDOT emailed a copy of its 2010 Request For Proposal Transit Display Advertising Services Contract which appears to be MDOT’s solicitation for outside ad agencies but it does include this:

"3. The following advertising is strictly prohibited:
a.Advertising for alcohol and tobacco related products.
b.False, misleading, or deceptive advertising.
c.Advertising that is sexually explicit or obscene.
d.Advertising that can be construed to be harmful to minors.
e.Advertising that depicts violence, illegal activity, or anti-social behavior.

So far, RTA has not responded to our requests for a comment and MDOT tells us it does not have any comment during litigation.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off