The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) bought hundreds of cats from Chinese meat markets. They butchered those and fed them to healthy kittens as part of a “twisted experiment,” according to a new watchdog report.
Apart from feeding the felines with cat meat, USDA also gave them cats and dogs’ hearts, brains and tongues, which were all bought from shelters in Brazil, while body parts from stray cats in Ethiopia were fed to lab mice, according to a report by White Coat Waste Project, a taxpayer watchdog group that aims to stop wasteful government funding in the US.
“It’s crazy,” Jim Keen, former USDA scientist who co-authored the report, told NBS News. “Cannibal cats, cats eating dogs – I don’t see the logic.”
The New York Post reported that the experiments started as early as 2015, which aimed to study toxoplasmosis – a common parasitic infection that causes food-borne illness.
The months-old kittens that survived the experiments, though healthy, were all slaughtered rather than placed for adoption.
White Coat Waste Project is now pushing for “Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now” act, which is a legislation aimed at cutting the taxpayer funding for the experiments.
“The details of these kitten experiments keep getting worse and they need to end now,” Florida Rep. Brian Mast, lead Republican co-sponsor of the bill, told NBC News. The fact that the USDA has been rounding up pets and other innocent dogs and cats in foreign countries – including at Chinese meat markets condemned by Congress – killing them and feeding them to lab cats back here in the States is simply disgusting and unjustifiable.”
USDA has yet to comment on the issue.