OH MY GOSH!!! Why Eat These Innocent Pets? See the Country Where Cat Meat Is A Delicious Meal 🤢🤢 • illuminaija
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OH MY GOSH!!! Why Eat These Innocent Pets? See the Country Where Cat Meat Is A Delicious Meal 🤢🤢

   
   

OH MY GOSH!!! Why Eat These Innocent Pets? See the Country Where Cat Meat Is A Delicious Meal 🤢🤢

Another household pet to be killed and served up on a plate. Like dog, it’s found in parts Ch!na and Korea, but unlikely to be found in many mainstream restaurants. Another one I won’t be trying ever.

While the trade and consumption of dog meat in Asia is increasingly being discussed in public, the brutal cat meat trade is still relatively unknown.

Cat meat is meat prepared from domestic cats for human consumption. Some countries eat cat meat regularly, whereas others have only consumed some cat meat in desperation during wartime or poverty.

Prehistoric human feces have contained bones from the wild cat of Africa. 

In some cultures of Cameroon, there is a special ceremony featuring cat-eating that is thought to bring good luck. 

OH MY GOSH!!! Why Eat These Innocent Pets? See the Country Where Cat Meat Is A Delicious Meal 🤢🤢

According to Humane Society International, Agence France-Presse, and the BBC, cat meat is not widely eaten in Ch!na. But in Guangdong and Guangxi provinces in south-eastern Ch!na, some—especially older—people consider cat flesh a good warming food during winter months. The Associated Press reported in 2008 that people in southern Ch!na’s Guangdong province (population just over 113 million) ate 10,000 cats per day. 

In Guangdong, cat meat is a main ingredient in the traditional dish “dragon, tiger, phoenix” (snake, cat, chicken), which is said to fortify the body. 

Organized cat-collectors supply the southern restaurants with animals that often originate in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. On January 26, 2010, Ch!na launched its first draft proposal to protect the country’s animals from maltreatment including a measure to jail people—for periods up to 15 days—for eating cat or dog meat. 

With the increase of cats as pets in Ch!na, opposition towards the traditional use of cats for food has grown. In June 2006, approximately 40 activists stormed the Fangji Cat Meatball Restaurant in Shenzhen, forcing it to shut down. Expanded to more than 40 member societies, the Chin*se Animal Protection Network in January 2006 began organizing well-publicized protests against dog and cat consumption, starting in Guangzhou, following up in more than ten other cities “with very optimal response from public.” Beijing News reported in 2014 and 2015 of Beijing and Tianjin authorities respectively discovering stray cats to be used as part of the cat meat trade, which drew outrage from many Chin*se netizens. A 2015 Animals Asia survey found that at least more than 70-80% of Chin*se respondents agreed it was unacceptable to eat dogs and cats if they had been abused or tortured during feeding and slaughter. 

   
   

Global animal welfare organizations FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation have released the findings from their investigations into Vietnam’s illicit cat meat trade, exposing the true extent of the hidden trade.

In Vietnam alone, an estimated one million cats every year – including strays and pets – are stolen from the streets and people’s homes, trafficked across the country, and brutally slaughtered. Locally known as “Little Tiger” and once only found in Northern provinces, the dish is spreading in popularity nationwide despite increasing pet ownership.

The trade is not only a threat to animal welfare but to human health due to the risk of rabies and zoonotic diseases. FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation therefore calls on the Vietnamese government to reinstate laws that explicitly prohibit the cat meat trade, enforce and strengthen existing laws to safeguard human and animal health, and protect people’s companion animals from theft.

Theft, Transport, Slaughter: Animal Cruelty at All Stages

OH MY GOSH!!! Why Eat These Innocent Pets? See the Country Where Cat Meat Is A Delicious Meal 🤢🤢

In contrast to the local dog meat trade, the hunting, slaughtering and consumption of cats was explicitly illegal in Vietnam until January 2020. However, the law has been revoked and there is now more demand than ever for cat meat. This is particularly true in the north of the country, but its popularity is also spreading to other parts of Vietnam as far south as Ho Chi Minh City.

The investigations by FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation identified Hanoi and the Thai Binh province as Vietnam’s cat meat hotspots, with their large networks of hundreds of restaurants, holding areas and slaughterhouses. To meet the increasing demand, free roaming stray and pet cats are captured and sold alive to wholesalers or directly to restaurants for slaughtering. According to the organizations, there are no farms in Vietnam where cats are bred specifically for the meat trade.

“At the wholesalers, we discovered many cats with collars – a clear sign that they were pets. During our research we also met many pet owners who were desperately looking for their stolen cats. The authorities usually turn a blind eye to this because they are often involved in the cat meat trade, either profiting from bribes or are consumers themselves,” says Dr. Katherine Polak, veterinarian and Head of FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care in Southeast Asia.

Some restaurants purchase the animals directly from cat thieves and slaughter them themselves on their premises, but most operate with wholesalers and slaughterhouses.

According to the investigations, the coastal towns of Da Nang and Hoi An in central Vietnam – popular among national and international tourists – are considered crucial for the sourcing and distribution of stolen cats. “In holding areas, the wholesalers keep the cats crammed into small cages for several days until they have collected enough animals to cover the costs of transport. 

OH MY GOSH!!! Why Eat These Innocent Pets? See the Country Where Cat Meat Is A Delicious Meal 🤢🤢

Over hundreds of miles the cats are transported without water, food, and sufficient ventilation to the slaughterhouses scattered throughout Vietnam. Some wholesalers even use luggage compartments on regular passenger buses for the trafficking,” says Lola Webber, Co-Founder and Programs Director of Change For Animals Foundation.

In the slaughterhouses, the cats are usually drowned, provided they have not died from exhaustion, heat stroke, or injuries caused by their brutal capture and transportation. FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation have also documented cats are sometimes bludgeoned to death with a hammer, boiled alive, or killed by electrocution. The fur is then stripped from the animals and the skin is burned. Only after that are the cats gutted and frozen for further transport.

Black Cats Seen as Premium Meat

The cat meat trade is a profitable business.

The prices for cats and cat meat are based on weight, with live cats going for $6.50 per 2.2. lbs and their raw meat going for $8.50 per 2.2 lbs. According to the latest research by FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation, black cats are worth even more.

Traders can sell live black cats for $8.50 per 2.2 lbs. and their raw meat can be sold for up to $21.50 per 2.2 lbs. These prices could be attributable to younger generations now considering cat meat an exotic delicacy. For older people, consumption is usually linked to customs, superstition, and the lunar calendar. Some locals are convinced that eating cat meat repels bad luck. Others eat the meat – especially from black cats – because they believe it has healing effects, although there is no scientific evidence for this.

Danger to Public Safety and Public Health

In recent years, cats have become popular pets in Vietnam despite the increasing demand for their meat. Ironically, the rise in pet ownership has simply supplied the cat meat trade with new victims since the demand for cats can no longer be met with capturing stray cats alone. Hence, cat thieves do not shy away from stealing pets. Violent clashes between cat thieves and pet owners have occurred frequently, some of which have also been known to end fatally.

OH MY GOSH!!! Why Eat These Innocent Pets? See the Country Where Cat Meat Is A Delicious Meal 🤢🤢

The trade is not only a threat to animal welfare but also to human health with the threat of rabies (a particularly dangerous threat in Southeast Asia) and other diseases.

According to FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation, the practices used in the cat meat trade could potentially lead to the outbreak of zoonotic diseases in the future, as seen with COVID-19, due to unsanitary conditions, brutal and unhygienic treatment of animals, multi-species transport, holding areas and slaughtering facilities, and cross border transportation and handling. Without any controls, many of the animals – whether healthy or sick – are transported across the entire country.

The unsanitary conditions in holding areas and slaughterhouse facilities, often holding various species from numerous sources, facilitate the transmission of zoonotic diseases and provide the perfect breeding ground for the development of novel ones, with potentially catastrophic results.

FOUR PAWS’ Fight Against the Cat and Dog Meat Trade

   
   

In Vietnam, FOUR PAWS partners with Change For Animals Foundation, as well as local NGO’s Vietnam Cat Welfare in Hoi An and Paws for Compassion in Da Nang to improve companion animal welfare. To put a sustainable lasting end to the brutal cat and dog meat trade in Southeast Asia, FOUR PAWS has launched a campaign on an international and national level in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. 

“Through educational work and cooperation with the responsible authorities, local communities and the tourism industry, FOUR PAWS is calling upon Governments in Southeast Asia to introduce, strengthen and enforce animal protection laws, which will bring an end to the capture, slaughter and consumption of dogs and cats. This will not only protect animals – but also people as well from public health risks,” says Dr Karanvir Kukreja, Project Manager for FOUR PAWS’ Ending the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Campaign. 

Furthermore, FOUR PAWS supports local animal welfare organizations and communities with humane and sustainable stray animal care programs. FOUR PAWS is also part of the animal welfare coalitions DMFI (Dog Meat Free Indonesia) and ACPA (Asia Canine Protection Alliance), which lobby against the trade in Southeast Asia, as well as the Asia for Animals Coalition, which works to improve the welfare of animals across the region.

The support for an end to this cruel trade has gained global traction with the FOUR PAWS petition receiving over 840,000 signatures  since it launched late last year:

   
   

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