Monday, September 15, 2008
Breaking News from Shanghai, China
According to Second Chance Animal Aid, an animal rescue organization located in Shanghai, China, over 1500 cats have been trapped in Shanghai and the surrounding region for shipment to southern China’s food and fur industries. On Friday, 29 August 2008, local animal rescuers located several trucks with over seventy bamboo crates crammed with cats in Jia Xing, a small city in Zhejiang Province, about an hour outside of Shanghai. These cats had likely been trapped in parks, from housing compounds, and the streets of Shanghai and neighboring areas. Many of the cats in the crates had collars on them – obviously people’s pets, possibly trapped just meters from their home.
The trucks were intercepted late at night in a parking lot in an industrial section of town, and as the cat trappers attempted to load the trucks, rescuers called the police. Some rescuers claimed to have lost their cat, while others challenged the rather unofficial-looking photocopied documents that the head of the cat smugglers produced to support his claim that he owned the cats legitimately; he claimed to have paid RMB50,000 for photocopied “ownership” papers (USD$7,320/ GBP£4,067) and was transporting them all according to permit.
Regardless of the legality of transport permits, the condition in which the cats were packed – crammed 20 or more to a small crate with no room to move and no access to food or water, while some newborns were being crushed to death and other cats had died, was a shockingly cruel sight. By mid-day Saturday, a crowd of nearly 300 people had gathered. A local TV crew filmed animal lovers feeding the cats through the slats of the crates and watering them down to keep them cool; several of the crates were broken and cats freed.
By late afternoon, the crowd was dispersed and, sadly, the remaining crates of cats appeared to be loaded onto a new truck by the cat trappers. Although there is often little hope of helping cats already trapped and on their way to Guangdong, a focus of efforts on spay/neuter and indoor cat campaigns will hopefully someday reduce the numbers of available strays and unwittingly friendly pets going to market.
To learn more about this horrific account, please visit Second Chance Animal Aid’s website at http://www.scaashanghai.org/cats_trapped_in_shanghai.shtml