If you are thinking of heading out to your favorite Xinjiang restaurant to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year with a big helping of lamb or mutton, you might want to think again. On the other hand, if you are into cats as much as this guy, go right ahead as planned.
The Shanghai Small Animal Association (SSAA) has amassed ample evidence that local restaurants have been lacing their mutton dishes with cat meat to cut down on costs. After subjecting twelve samples of mutton from various street vendors to DNA testing, two were found to contain cat meat. The SSAA believes that many purveyors of cat fur will sell unused cat flesh to local vendors looking to supplement their meat supplies. What happened to the good old days when the dogs in our hot pot were the biggest of Shanghaiist’s culinary troubles?
Eastday reports that:
The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration didn’t comment on the the Shanghai Small Animal Association’s DNA report, but said it is illegal to sell cat meat.
“In China, animals such as sheep, cows, pigs and even dogs are listed as legal food materials, but never cats,” said Gu Zhenhua, an official with the FDA.
“We have no food safety standards for cat meat because it’s not supposed to be on the menu,” Gu said. “Without food safety and quarantine checks, it’s unsafe to serve cat meat.”
Gu said those who sell cat meat will be punished according to the law.
Gu also said there was no common procedure to distinguish cat meat from other types of meat.
Gu seems to be saying a lot, but none of what he is saying will keep Shanghaiist from buying a few lamb kebabs (羊肉串儿 or yang rou chuanr) after a night of too much formalde… er, beer.
Photo from flickr.