John W. Ferguson/FilmMagic
07/25/2012 at 01:00 PM EDT
Ricky Gervais is speaking out for kittens without a voice.
The comedian – and vocal cat lover
– is outraged after learning that researchers at Cardiff University in Wales experimented on kittens by sewing their eyes shut for up to seven days.
"I am appalled that kittens are being deprived of sight by having their eyelids sewn shut," he told the U.K.'s Daily Mirror
. "I thought sickening experiments like these were a thing of the past."
All of the 30 kittens used in the study, conducted to find a cure for lazy eye in children, were later euthanized, the Mirror
reports. Five had their eyes sewn shut while 26 were raised in darkness for up to 12 weeks.
In a statement given to the newspaper, the university defended the experiment, which ended in 2010. "Cardiff University rejects the accusation this experiment is cruel or unnecessary. It is impossible to use any other kind of technique for this study," it said.
The actor, who has spoken out before about testing on animals
, isn't buying it. "Honestly, how does this happen in so called civilised society?" he Tweeted
Tuesday, with a link to a Huffington Post story
on the controversy.