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Kitten Slaughterhouse is Closed by U.S. Agriculture Department

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared that it would no longer use cats in research that, as per a watchdog group, contains forced “cannibalism” and resulted in more than 3,000 of the animals being put down since 1982.

Tooba Maher

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared that it would no longer use cats in research that, as per a watchdog group, contains forced “cannibalism” and resulted in more than 3,000 of the animals being put down since 1982. 

Since more than three decades, in a laboratory in Beltsville, scientists fed cats and kittens’ meat possibly contaminated with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, as per the White Coat Waste (WCW) Project. 

Then the researchers had tested the cats’ stools to confirm the presence of Toxoplasma which can only complete entire life cycles in cats in the meat. They went on to euthanise the cats after three weeks even though they were healthy. 

Around 3,000 cats and kittens were used since 1982, which unveiled the “kitten slaughterhouse” in May 2018. This programme was not secret, but remained off the radar to the general public. Justin Goodman, vice-president of the WCW said, “We are absolutely thrilled that kittens are out of harm’s way.”   

Another WCW report revealed that for a decade ending in 2015, the department also bought hundreds of deceased cats and dogs in China, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Colombia and other countries to feed their cats and other animals. 

Horrified lawmakers then introduced Bills to end the project. It was considered to be a rare moment of unity for Democrats and Republicans, with 60 co-signing the “Kitten Act” to stop the programme. 

USDA has mentioned, “The use of cats as part of any research protocol in any ARS (Agricultural Research Service) laboratory has been discontinued and will not be reinstated.” 

The best method to avoid infection is to thoroughly cook meat and wash your hands after gardening or cleaning cat litter. 

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