When police in Beijing, China received a call from a man complaining that someone had been stealing his cats, including a mother and five nursing kittens, no one could be prepared for the shock of what they found.
A man identified only as Sun was discovered with 500 cats crowded into tiny cages, some near death and all suffering in the heat. Most of the cages were found in the back of a small truck, while others were recovered from a hut near a highway, cooled only by a ceiling fan.
The man had used sparrows and caged birds to lure stray cats as well as people’s pets in the city of Jiujiang.
More horrifying than the kidnapping of these cats and their terrible treatment is the fact that in China it is legal to eat cats and dogs. Sun intended to sell the cats to restaurants.
The news provoked an intense response on the Netease portal, with more than 40,000 comments, many expressing outrage at the idea that the man had lured away people’s pets.
“The truth is that eating dog and cat is not part of China’s mainstream culinary practice even in Yulin, the home of the dog meat festival,” Peter Li, China policy specialist for Humane Society International told the Washington Post. “Far from being vital to the Yulin economy or way of life, the dog meat festival is a national disgrace that tarnishes the name of the city around the world. Now is the time to end it.”
Sun was arrested on Sunday and police have stated that if no owners come forward, they will just release the 500 cats.
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