500 Cats Crammed Into Small Cages Rescued Enroute to Market in China

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By Karen Harrison Binette

Cats crammed together in small cages


A truck filled with 500 cats thought to be destined for restaurants was intercepted on Wednesday in Xuzhou, eastern China’s Jiangsu Province. Officer Sun Hai said he and a colleague pulled the vehicle over during a routine traffic check. The officer commented, “The driver said it was a full load of rabbit, but after we instructed him to uncover the load we were shocked to find a full load of living cats.

The officers informed volunteers from a local animal protection center who quickly arrived on the scene. The rescuers used keys and knives to carefully cut open the bags some of the cats were stuffed into, to minimize the trauma and save the animals from suffocation. They also bought water and food and began giving water to the cats as they sat caged on the truck.

The owner of the load refused to reveal where the cats had come from and only released the animals to rescuers after several hours of negotiation resulted in him selling the cats too the rescue volunteers for 3500 Yuan ($560 USD). The cats were transferred to an animal rescue center at Tangzhang County, where they are being receiving care.

This rescue story illustrates contrasting aspects of the status of companion animals in China. While there is still a market for cats and dogs at markets, restaurants and food festivals in certain areas, large segments of the population consider them pets and work for animal welfare protection.  Abuse incidents often bring an outcry from the public when photos and videos surface online, and the news media sometimes covers the stories. A video of a woman dunking a kitten in a puddle as the Mama cat tried to save her baby went viral in July of 2011 as thousands of Chinese residents expressed sadness, concern and a desire to see the woman brought to justice.


Cats poking their heads out of holes made in burlap sacks





Photos: HAP/Quirky China News //REX/SIPA

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1 thought on “500 Cats Crammed Into Small Cages Rescued Enroute to Market in China”

  1. Actually, go to a factory farm and see what goes on there… better yet, watch the movie “Earthlings” and then tell me that animals are not treated just as bad right in the US. Male baby chicks ground up alive, chickens living in wire cages their entire lives, having their beaks cut off without anesthesia etc.
    The only way to end cruelty to animals is going vegan. Period.

    Thank you to the group that came forward and saved these poor animals. Disgusting what we human beings to do our fellow living beings.

  2. This is SICK! But I am glad I don’t do chinese food after my co-worker mention that chinese eat rat, cats, and dogs I was disgusted. I don’t understand these people why would you eat a pet. I have a dog I rescued from the streets and a cat who I gave for more then 10 years. I love them not eat them! Around here in Alvarado St and Mc Arthur Park I was told there is a chinese restaurant where they sell dog and cat meat… But under the table of course. I just find that nasty! So I avoid all chinesefast food.

  3. My heart aches and my stomach roils when I see these things. I wish I had a magic wand and I could just make it all go away. I cry for the animals, i hear the trees wail when they are bulldozed down to make way for yet another strip mall. We are a civilization of uncivilized beings. We were not always this way….. question is: WILL WE EVER GO BACK TO NATURE? BACK TO A KINDER AND GENTLER WAY OF LIVING? We don’t have to be this way. or… do we? well, china? they are so overpopulated and their natural resources are mostly used up… they have little choice themselves. (it still doesn’t make it “right”) PEACE AND LOVE should be the theme of life and living.

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