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The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it will formally end its controversial research program that has resulted in the death of thousands of cats. As NPR reported, “Since 1982 the USDA’s Agricultural Research Services division had been conducting experiments that involved infecting cats with toxoplasmosis — a disease usually caused by eating undercooked contaminated meat — in order to study the foodborne illness. Once the cats were infected and the parasite harvested, the felines were put down” The experiments came under further scrutiny in the past year and were fueled by activist groups such as the White Coat Waste Project whose recent report revealed that the felines were also forced to eat dog and cat meat obtained in overseas markets.
Also from NPR: In a statement announcing the decision, the agency said “toxoplasmosis research has been redirected and the use of cats as part of any research protocol in any ARS laboratory has been discontinued and will not be reinstated.”
Additionally, the USDA said it is in the process of putting the 14 remaining uninfected cats up for adoption by agency employees.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor According to the Australian Koala Foundation, 30% of the nation’s Koalas have been lost to drought, bushfires, and logging in just three years. The population has dropped to 58,000 from more than 80,000 in 2018, and no regions saw positive population growth. These findings arrive just days after the […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The maned wolf is certainly a unique animal, with long legs, massive ears, and bright red fur. Many might compare it to a fox, but it’s actually South America’s largest canid species. And not only is the maned wolf elusive — it’s endangered. Researchers working with Rewilding Argentina and […]
Today is International Red Panda Day! These iconic and adorable creatures are worth celebrating for many reasons, but they’re also in need of serious protection. This cat-sized, fluffy-tailed animal is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Climate change and rising temperatures are reducing the red panda’s […]
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