According to a Chinese news article, “more than 800 cats, locked up in rows of iron cages in a store in northern China's Tianjin municipality, would have been transported to Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and slaughtered had it not been for about 30 residents who rallied for nearly 24 hours, negotiating with the trader and police, to free the animals Tuesday.”
The cat trader said he purchased the cats, who were to be sent to Guangzhou, slaughtered, and served as food in restaurants in South China. Li Na, along with dozens of other local residents, spent the night outside the "flower and birds store" to ensure the cats were not snuck out. Reports say the store is licensed to sell flowers, birds, fish and worms, but has also been trading cats for the last six months. According to the article, “Qin Xiaona, chief of the Beijing-based Capital Animal Welfare Association, who rushed to Tianjin as word spread, alleged it was obvious most of the cats were stolen. ‘The police told us that the trader bought the cats. But the trader was unable to provide receipts to prove any of the 800 purchases,’ Qin said.”
After 24 hours and the aid of police, Li and Qin finally convinced the trader to release the cats. Qin said that police have given them a room in a school to temporarily house the cats, many of which are in need of urgent medical care. Witnessed said the cats were suffocating in the tiny crates and most would not have made the trip to Guangzhou.
The article continues with Representative of the International Fund of Animal Welfare, He Yong, saying that the incident was only the "tip of an iceberg". It’s true that China still has no laws prohibiting the trading of cats, which results in large-scale theft of animals, who are reportedly eaten. "The chain of the cat trade is really long," He said.
ACR urges our supporters to contact the Ambassador of China and express your disapproval of the cat trade and how you cannot believe that China, being such an advancing country, does not have animal protection laws. Tell him the majority of China’s people consider cats to be companion animals and do not support such outdated traditions of consuming them.
Please write to China’s Ambassador located in the US:
The Honorable Zhou Wenzhong
The People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008-1799
Embassy Phone: (202) 328-2500
Fax: (202) 588-0032