It’s a gruesome thought, to think of a cat as being on your dinner plate, as dinner. But in China, that is exactly what was about to happen until police officers stepped in and rescued 500 cats who were on their way to end up as just that. The man was identified as Sun, was stopped from stealing cats, and selling them to restaurants to use as food. According to Chinese news site 163.com, authorities said that Sun had been taking strays, and stealing people’s pet cats, in the Jiujiang, in the Jiangsu province, and selling them to local restaurants in the area.
The police were given a tip that led to the discovery of this operation, when a resident of the area, called the police and told them that he believed his cat had been stolen. He explained how just five days earlier, his cat had been nursing 5 kittens just a couple of days before she went missing.
The police began searching for the cat and soon discovered an area where the cat thief, Sun had been temporarily hiding dozens of cats that were crammed into about seven or eight dirty cages in a village near Jiujiang, according to a police report. They discovered that the cats were being kept there in preparation to be transported to a variety of local restaurants to be sold for food. The police arrested him right then.
Later, the authorities discovered another hut that set close to a highway where hundreds of cats were locked away inside. They too, were awaiting transport to restaurants for the same reason. The authorities said that many of those cats were pets, while others had been plucked off the streets. They were all in poor health. Authorities said that Sun had baited the cats into the cages using sparrows.
Sun admitted the price he could for each cat, saying he would sell each animal for 30 yuan, or $4.40. They did not comment on whether or not Yang’s cat was found among all the caged cats.
For years, animal rights activists have tried to put a stop to the trafficking and selling of both cats and dogs to be used for food in China, as well as other Asian countries, claiming animal cruelty and endangerment. By doing this, they had hoped to prevent the delicacy from being served in restaurants. In 2010, government officials did consider adopting a law that would make it an illegal practice to sell animals for food purposes, however, the proposal didn’t stick. Recently, Taiwan became the first Asian country to outlaw eating cats and dogs.