Cat Cannibalism By Brian Simpson

     I found this interesting; what scientific reason is there for feeding cat bits to cats? Sounds crazy, but as usual … it’s science:

“A new watchdog report claims that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been purchasing cats and dogs at meat markets abroad to use in gruesome experiments here in the United States. The experiments, according to the report, involved feeding their body parts to healthy cats as well as injecting them into mice. The report was published online yesterday (March 20) by a nonprofit organization called The White Coat Waste Project. It says that the experiments were conducted by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in the name of research that had a very limited impact on improving public health. he purpose was to research toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the common parasite Toxoplasma gondii, said Justin Goodman, the vice president of The White Coat Waste Project, who helped write the report. Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasitic infections in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is also a leading cause of death due to foodborne illness in the U.S.

People can become infected in various ways such as by eating undercooked meat or shellfish that is contaminated with T. gondii cysts and drinking contaminated unpasteurized goat's milk, or through exposure to cat poop. Indeed, cats play an important role in the life cycle of the parasite: They become infected by eating infected rodents, birds or other small mammals, and then can shed millions of oocysts in their feces for up to three weeks. By feeding the lab cats the tongues, hearts and brains of dogs and cats from abroad, the USDA hoped to understand how prevalent toxoplasmosis was in animals around the world, Goodman told Live Science. But "these kitten cannibalism experiments have absolutely no relevance to human or animal health and, frankly, sound more like an entry in the diary of a burgeoning serial killer than anything else," he said.”

     Well, will these scientists then move on and start feeding human bits to humans to test gondii infections? I know, ethics and all that, but no doubt some country outside the moral net may feel that doing this is a real good idea. Today, anything is possible.



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