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More Than 1000 Cats Rescued From Slaughter in China


Police in China have freed almost 1,000 cats from a truck that was on its way to a slaughterhouse, disrupting a criminal industry that misrepresents cat meat as pig or mutton and raising new questions about food safety.


Chinese media reported that on October 12, animal lovers in Zhangjiagang, a county in Jiangsu province’s Suzhou city, alerted authorities to a “cat car”—dealers on trucks who hunt cats and sell the meat as food. The animal lovers had been searching for the cat mobile for over a week when they came across dozens of wooden crates in a cemetery in the eastern coastal region, each housing about 20 yowling cats.

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Without the intervention, the cats were probably going to be killed and shipped to the south to be used to make sausages and skewers of lamb and pork, according to local media reports. According to Mr Gong Jian, one of the animal advocates, cat meat can be purchased for 4.50 yuan (Ksh 93) per pound at the market, while mutton can be purchased for 30 yuan (Ksh 615) per pound. The sellers get to keep the entire price difference as profit when they pass off a skinned cat weighing about four to five pounds as mutton or pig.

Cats Rescued in China
More Than 1000 Cats Rescued From Slaughter in China. Photo: ZHANG PENG

Following the loss of her own pet, activist Han Jiali began tracking cat vehicles. She claims that local law enforcement has informed her that cats are not protected by the law and that no public funds may be used to care for them once they are rescued from cat sellers.

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The majority of the rescued cats have been moved temporarily to a park where volunteers are caring for them and helping them get better. To enable their owners to claim them, information about the cats, such as their breed and fur colour, is posted online.


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