Despite international efforts to stop the practice, the sale of dog and cat meat for consumption is still a serious problem in several Asian countries.
In China, a man was recently arrested after being found with over 500 cats he planned to sell to restaurants.
The arrest came shortly after a pet owner reported a man stole his cat that had been nursing five kittens. After an investigation, it was found that the man, referred to only as Sun, was stealing pets and collecting strays with the intent to sell them.
Officials reported that Sun used sparrows and caged birds to lure pets and strays into his cages. When police picked him up, Sun had hundreds of felines crammed into small rusted cages.
Many were already dead due to the extreme heat, and others were obviously ill and mistreated. Most of the cats were found trapped in cages on Sun's small truck, but a search of a nearby hut revealed even more stolen cats.
Sun planned to sell the cats to restaurants for 30 yuan ($4.40) each. They would be slaughtered and the meat sold as a local delicacy. Now in police custody, the cats are temporarily safe from slaughter, but local officials aren't prepared to care for so many homeless cats.
They plan to wait to see if pet owners come to claim the animals, and the cats that are left unclaimed will be released.
Millions of cats are killed for their meat in China every year. While police successfully stopped one man from furthering the industry, there is a lot of work to be done before a permanent solution is found.
Organizations like Animals Asia and the Humane Society International are working daily to free the innocent animals awaiting slaughter and bring down both the supply and demand that keeps the industry thriving.
What do you think of the cat meat industry in China? Let us know in the comments.
All images via IFeng News
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