Good news for cat lovers – the USDA has announced it will no longer use kittens for research experiments.
Yes, they really were performing experiments on kittens. Specifically, cats were being used for ‘toxoplasmosis research’ on foodborne illnesses, experiments that were often deadly for felines.
The move comes after a bipartisan Congressional bill that referred to the practice as “taxpayer-funded kitten slaughter”. An estimated $650,000 has been spent on cat experiments since 1970.
After a huge amount of backlash for using kittens in lethal testing, the USDA is trying to make things right.
The agency is shuttering a lab and program associated with the slaughter of kittens, but it’s also going a step farther. A report detailing the White Coat Waste Project caused public outrage as it explained that kittens, and other animals, were given infected meat from other cats and euthanized in a study of toxoplasmosis.
Last month, federal lawmakers passed the Kitten Act which was a bipartisan effort to stop “taxpayer-funded kitten slaughter.” In a statement, the USDA says the remaining cats will be adopted as research into the parasite-based disease has “been redirected.” They added that their research halved the rate of toxoplasmosis infections.
We don’t get how they chose kittens to begin with… the fuzzy cuties break the internet daily!