The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is putting an immediate end to “slaughterhouse” experiments on cats, which included feeding cats and dogs to other cats.
According to one report by the nonprofit White Coat Waste Project, which works as a watchdog on wasteful government spending in the area of animal testing, the USDA has killed over 4000 cats, mostly kittens, in its research and has spent some $22 million.
“The use of cats as part of any research protocol in any ARS lab has been discontinued and will not be reinstated,” the USDA said in a statement.
Since 1982, the Agricultural Research Services (ARS), part of the US Department of Agriculture, has been conducting a number of kitten experiments. Some of this experimentation included infecting cats with toxoplasmosis and then euthanizing them.
The research was done as part of the USDA’s effort to fight food-borne illnesses.
A study called “USDA kitten cannibalism” which was done by the White Coat Waste Project, said the USDA had gone astray from its mission of keeping the food supply of America safe.
According to the Mayo Clinic: “Toxoplasmosis is a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, one of the world’s most common parasites. Infection usually occurs by eating undercooked contaminated meat, exposure from infected cat feces, or mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy.”
“ARS toxoplasmosis research has reached its maturity and ARS considers the project’s objectives for agriculture achieved. While there is still additional research needed in this area regarding human health, this research area is outside of USDA’s stated mission,” the USDA said in a statement.
It was revealed that ARS scientists had purchased hundreds of dogs and cats from “Asian meat markets,” then euthanized the animals. The scientists then took the meat from the dead animals and fed the slaughtered cats and dogs to healthy cats at their Maryland lab, according to an NBC News report.