USDA will no longer use kittens, cats as subjects in controversial food-safety testing




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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday launched it will no longer use cats as check out subjects in its meals safety evaluation.

Previously, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratory in Maryland used felines when conducting evaluation on a parasite recognized as Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite may trigger toxoplasmosis, a dangerous sickness the USDA talked about is “considered to be a leading cause of death from foodborne illness in the United States.” This could be very true for these with weakened immune strategies. That talked about, the federal firm talked about its evaluation has helped to “cut the prevalence of T. gondii by as much as 50 percent in the United States.”

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Both kittens and cats can be utilized in the testing course of; the animals had been fed “parasite-infected raw meat,” in accordance with the “Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now Act of 2019,” a bipartisan bill launched in Congress in March. The researchers would then look ahead to the parasite to complete its life cycle and lay eggs. They felines would later be euthanized, ensuing in the deaths of lots of of cats as a result of the early 1980s, experiences CBS News.

The USDA in its assertion talked about researchers in present years have labored to “minimize reliance on cats,” which can be the “only hosts in which T. gondii can complete its life cycle and produce oocysts (eggs).”

But the selection to take away cats from its testing course of solely acquired right here after the federal firm reportedly acquired pressure from lawmakers to take motion.

“Use of cats as part of any research protocol in any laboratory in ARS has been discontinued and will not be reinstated,” the USDA talked about, together with no cats have been contaminated with the parasite since September 2018.

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“Food safety research in ARS is of paramount importance for agriculture and the public we serve. We are continually assessing our research and priorities and aligning our resources to the problems of [the] highest national priority. We are excited for the next chapter of work for these scientists and this laboratory,” Chavonda Jacobs-Young, an ARS administrator, talked about in an announcement.

The 14 remaining cats on the power,  which had been by no means contaminated with the T. gondii parasite, in accordance with the USDA, are slated to be adopted by USDA workers.

 

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