Thousands of cats who had been rescued from becoming dinner in Vietnam have been crushed to death under the wheels of a dumper truck in a gruesome mass execution which has left animal lovers horrified.
A truck carrying three tons of felines, stuffed into bamboo cages stacked on top of one another, was confiscated by the authorities in the capital Hanoi this past Tuesday, while on their way to be sold to restaurants.
The terrified felines, many of whom were stolen, were all smuggled from China to Hanoi where cat meat is known as “little tiger” and considered a delicacy. Some of the animals died in their cages in transit. Shockingly, soon after their rescue all of the felines, both dead and alive, have been crushed while still packed in their bamboo cages, because of fears they might spread disease, The Daily Mail reports. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Thousands of cats were crammed into bamboo cages as they were smuggled from China to Vietnam.
2. Three tonnes of cats, many stolen pets, would have been sold to restaurants in Hanoi.
At first, the cats seemed to have had a lucky escape when a police officer in Hanoi stopped the truck which had come from a town near the Chinese border in north-east Vietnam.
Images of the cats packed into small cages triggered a wave of offers from local and international animal rights groups to treat and find homes for the surviving felines.
Brigitte Bardot, for example, offered financial help for the animals via the U.S. embassy but it now seems that all the surviving cats were killed inside their cages not long after the interception of the truck.
Le Duc Chinh, who investigated the seizure of the animals for animal welfare group The Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA), said that environmental officials told him all the cats had to be put down and buried in case they spread disease.
3. Police intercept a truck carrying three tons of living cats.
4. The truckload of cats (pictured) was seized by local police in Hanoi on January 27.
A waste treatment company was then hired which used a dumper truck to crush the cats in their bamboo cages before burying them in a the Kieu Ky waste treatment area near the center of Hanoi, while police watched to make sure the order was carried out. Mr. Chinh said:
The cats were buried and covered with lime because of concerns that they might spread disease in the capital. Many of the cats had died during the long trip from China.
I was appalled and asked them why they did this to the surviving cats, but the officials insisted they were following the law which says they should destroy animals immediately if they do not have health check certificates.
Mr. Chinh denied claims that some of the felines were buried alive and added:
I checked with waste company Binh Minh who buried the cats. They said they killed all the cats and then they buried them.
5. Police in Hanoi found thousands of cats, dead and alive, crammed into tiny bamboo boxes.
6. After all the cats were killed, Le Duc Chinh from the Asia Canine Protection Alliance said: ‘I was appalled and asked them [the authorities] why they did this to the surviving cats’.
John Dalley, of the Thailand-based Soi Dog Foundation which attempted to save the cats’ lives, said:
This is a particularly distressing case, not least because a number of organizations including ourselves offered to help.
We had vets on standby from Thursday throughout the weekend ready to fly from Thailand. The Vietnamese authorities quite simply refused to give any information, or respond to calls.
The fact that police intercepted the cats which were bound for restaurants and slaughter houses is commendable, but what followed is not acceptable in any civilized country.
We can only hope that they did not die in vain, and the authorities will take steps to implement existing laws to end the inhumane trade in dogs, cats and wildlife that are not recognized as livestock in Vietnam.
The vast majority of these animals are stolen pets or illegally imported from other countries as with these cats. The dangers of spreading diseases such as rabies and cholera cannot be overstressed, even if one accepts the cruelty involved in the trade.
The government of Thailand has recently introduced laws banning the killing of animals for food that are not considered livestock and we hope other nations in Asia will follow their example.
The truck driver arrested over the delivery of the cats told police that the animals originally came from China and were loaded on his truck in Vietnam’s north eastern Quang Ninh province after being traded.
7. The cats were crushed to death and buried by the Binh Minh waste company to stop them ‘spreading disease’.
8. Local activist hopes Vietnam will follow Thailand’s lead and ban the killing of animals which are not livestock.
Source: The Daily Mail.
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