In a remarkable rescue story by the Humane Society International., one hundred forty-eight cats narrowly escaped being sold into the meat trade. Police in Shandong China arrested members of a gang for their role in this brutal trade.
Meat trade industry
The Human Society International has a wide global presence and campaigns across Asia to end cat and dog meat trades.
According to the Humane Society International,
“Worldwide, an estimated 30 million dogs and 10 million cats are slaughtered each year for human consumption. Of those numbers, it is estimated that 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are killed for human consumption each year in China.”
Fortunately, the local authorities in China intervened. Vshine, an organization funded in part by the Humane Society International, did its part to help out as well.
Tricks of the trade
Jinan Zhuang Qiu District police discovered the gang had a fleet of mopeds outfitted with cages for capturing cats. The mopeds included wire bags containing the sparrows.
The cages are designed to slam shut behind the cat after luring them in via remote control.
On the scene, rescuers witnessed one hundred forty-eight cats and approximately thirty sparrows packed in seven cages. Two additional kittens were born after the rescue making the total one hundred fifty cats.
China does not have national animal protection laws concerning cats. However, the China law prohibits the possession of protected species of sparrows.
Sparrows are a protected species under the State Protected Wildlife list of Animals of Important Economic and Scientific Research.
Mr. Huang, from the animal protection group Vshine that participated in the rescue, described the dire conditions.
“These poor animals were tightly crammed together in rusty cages waiting to be shipped off to south China to be killed for meat. It was shocking to see the state they were in, many of them emaciated and crying out. Our discovery of dozens of live sparrows used as bait to lure the cats was also a big shock but shows the lengths these ruthless traders will go to. We are really grateful that the local Jinan police accompanied us on the rescue and detained the cat traders.”
A brighter future
Despite limitations, Vshine is glad police can use other laws at their disposal to crack down on this brutal trade. The rescued animals are now under care by Jinan activists and local shelter groups.
The rescued sparrows have returned to the wild. The organizations are eager to reunite any owners of missing cats to come forward.
So far, two Jinan residents have identified their cats among the stolen animals in the cages. Once the rescued cats have all received veterinary care, the organizations will determine options for adoption.
The stray feral cats will be returned to the community.
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