The United States Department of Agriculture has stopped a research program using cats and kittens.
According to Congressman Brian Mast's office, it comes two weeks after he worked with advocacy group White Coat Waste and learned the research included buying cats from Asian meat markets and having them euthanized and fed to healthy cats.
The group called it 'kitten cannibalism.'
The USDA said it was using the cats for research on a parasite causing a disease which is a leading cause of death from foodborne illness in the United States.
“With all the awful reports coming out, it was clear that Americans opposed USDA’s cruel testing on kittens. This is a decisive victory against government animal abuse and wasteful spending," Congressman Mast said in a statement. "Now, other agencies need to follow suit and put a permanent end to abusive and painful animal testing.”
Mast said he worked on the legislation ending the animal experiements with Rep. Jimmy Panetta of California called kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now Act of 2019, or KITTEN Act.
Mast said 14 remaining cats are in the process of being adopted by USDA employees.
Today is a good day for our four-legged friends across America! After recent action from our bipartisan #KITTENAct coalition, the @USDA announced today they are ending their experiments that kill kittens. Thank you to everyone who urged the USDA to end this horrific practice. pic.twitter.com/4P82d6qAzE— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) April 2, 2019
ABC 7 said it first reported on the animal experimentation in May of 2018.
Here's original I-Team Investigation that exposed the killing of thousands of kittens at @USDA lab in Maryland. We aired it on May 7th, 2018. Today the @USDA put an end to the experiments. @ABC7News @WhiteCoatWaste #7OYS https://t.co/x1EVqxu4Fe— Scott Taylor ABC 7 (@ScottTaylorTV) April 2, 2019