Live cats from China destined 'for consumption' in Vietnam seized: police

Thousands of live cats destined “for consumption” have been seized in Hanoi after being smuggled from China, police said on Thursday (Jan 29).

Cat meat, known locally as “little tiger”, is an increasingly popular delicacy in Vietnam.

Even though it is officially banned, it is widely available in specialist restaurants.

The truck containing “three tonnes” of live cats was discovered in the Vietnamese capital on Tuesday, an officer from Dong Da district police station told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The driver told police he had bought the cats in northeastern Quang Ninh province, which borders China, and that they had all been sourced from the neighbouring country.

He told police the cats were destined “for consumption” in Hanoi, without specifying whether they would be sold to restaurants.

Seized cages of live cats which were transported in a truck in Hanoi.

Seized cages of live cats which were transported in a truck in Hanoi.

The officer said that according to Vietnamese laws on smuggled goods, all the cats would have to be destroyed.

“But we have not made up our mind what to do with them” because of the large volume of animals, the policeman said. 

Photos on local media websites showed the smuggled cats crammed into dozens of bamboo crates stacked on top of one another.

Vietnamese customs officials routinely seize large volumes of dead animals, including tigers and pangolins, smuggled into the country for use in traditional medicine or specialiity dishes. 

Source: AFP