Saturday, November 03, 2012

Over 500 Chinese cats saved from cooking pot

Police in the eastern Chinese city of Xuzhou have intercepted a lorry carrying 500 cats destined for the cooking pot. There has been extra security on China's roads ahead of next week's once-in-a-decade leadership change, and officers in Xuzhou pulled over the lorry when they noticed it had out-of-town licence plates.

When they heard mewling from under the tarpaulin covering its cargo, they asked the drivers what they were transporting. "Rabbits," came the response. Instead, the lorry was carrying dozens of rusty iron cages filled with cats. In recent years, the appetite for cat meat in the south of China has created a supply chain that reaches across the country.

A notorious Cantonese dish is "Tiger and Dragon Locked in Battle", a hot pot of cat and snake meat. The appetite for the dish has already made cats scarce and costly in the southern region of Guangdong, and restaurants in the province have had to look elsewhere for a steady supply.


There is no law in China against selling cats, since cats are not regarded as household possessions. Cat snatchers generally make around 10 yuan (£1) per cat and sell them to middlemen who then arrange transport to the south. While the lorry had therefore not breached any laws, the police contacted animal lovers in Xuzhou who negotiated for almost three hours before reaching a deal with the drivers to buy their feline cargo for 3,500 yuan (£350).


Candy said...

Disgusting. Suppose you never know what you're eating in China.And don't care.

Ratz said...

I don't really mind what I eat, just so long as it's had a humane life and and a humane death (no battery chickens, no halal meat). Sadly finding the latter is getting harder in the UK. As of 2010, all waitrose and sainsbury's lamb is halal. I don't care how sharp your knife is, I'd notice if you slit my throat.

Crystal said...

To Candy, the same can be said for many countries. How many Westerners eat meat from inhumane factory farms (and don't care)?

Helen Magnus said...

I agree with Ratz above - what's the difference between killing a sheep for meat and killing a cat? They're both intelligent animals, so why vilify the Chinese for choosing one over the other? Indians see American beef consumption as sacrilege - just a cultural difference. So long as the animal intended for dinner has been killed in a humane manner, meat's meat. I mean hell - PEOPLE in the world suffer more brutal massacres than a lot of food animals. Priorities, guys!

Candy said...

True Crystal and Helen but, it just seems wrong when so many people consider a cat as a
house pet...Guess you gotta do
what you gotta do to eat.

Helen Magnus said...


I don't personally keep cats or dogs, but have kept things as chickens, sheep and reptiles as housepets, so see no real difference between the lot.

My statement has always been - if you want to eat meat, you had best be able to kill, clean and prepare it yourself, else you don't have the right to eat it.