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Agriculture Department to stop testing on kittens
WASHINGTON -- The Agriculture Department announced Tuesday it is discontinuing its practice of infecting kittens with parasites for research purposes. The department's Agricultural Research Service had been using kittens to conduct research on the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. According to the department, the parasite "causes toxoplasmosis, a disease considered to be a leading cause of death from foodborne illness in the United States, especially for individuals with weak immune systems such as children and HIV patients."