The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the closure of a “kitten slaughterhouse,” where scientists forced cannibalism on cats as part of their research and later on resulted to several deaths of the animals.

White Coat Waste (WCW) Project, a watchdog group that works on protecting thousands of cats and dogs used in private and university laboratories in the US, reported that scientists of a laboratory in Beltsville, near the capital of Washington, fed healthy cats and kittens with cat meat that might have been contaminated with the parasite toxoplasma gondii.

Researchers confirmed the presence of the parasite by testing the cats’ stools. Three weeks after, they euthanize the cats, even though they were all healthy.

WCW unveiled what kind of research was happening there in 2018, after learning that at least 3,000 cats and kittens were used for three decades.

Scientists also fed cats and other animals the deceased cats and dogs they bought from China, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Colombia and other countries.

“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,” USDA said in a statement.

14 cats were rescued from the laboratory and will be adopted by the officials at the department.

“We are absolutely thrilled that kittens are out of harm’s way,” Justin Goodman, vice president of the WCW Project.