A man in Australia just got busted for running a kitten factory, where kittens and cats were found riddled with infections and living in filth; 30 of the 72 Bengal cats seized were so sick they had to be euthanized.
The man will pay $32,000 in fines and be banned from breeding animals for a decade – but some say the punishment isn’t enough. “This is the worst example of a kitten factory that Wyndham has ever seen,” Steven Lambert, director of city transformation for Wyndham, Australia, where the facility was located, told Australia’s Star Weekly.
The sad truth is that kitten factories – also called kitten farms and kitten mills – are a huge problem worldwide because they’re often more easily hidden from view than puppy mills. According to Animals Australia, a “lack of transparency, regulatory oversight, and the actions of unscrupulous breeders all combine to create what can be, at best, a life of deprivation and chronic boredom for cats and their kittens or, at worst, a living nightmare.”
Kitten farms are spread across the U.S. – and people say they’re just as bad as puppy mills.
Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy/kitten mills through investigations, legislation and rescue.
“We’ve investigated breeders who have puppy mills without knowing that they had cats, or not being able to gain access to the cats,” Deborah Howard, president of CAPS, told The Dodo. “If we don’t get access to the entire facility, the cats would be the hardest to see because they are completely indoors.”
Kitten mills that are USDA-licensed can sell their live products to the pet shop industry. And even in these facilities, cats “are crammed into dirty cages, covered in matted fur and sleeping in overflowing litter boxes.”
CAPS sends investigators into kitten mills, and what investigators find “look just like puppy mills – but with cats. Mothers are bred until they drop. Kittens are sick and dirty. Cats are kept in feces-stained pens, with no physical or mental stimulation.”
CAPS did an undercover investigation of one USDA-licensed kitten factory run by a woman in Nebraska, and what they found was horrifying.