Police raided a “black” slaughterhouse in Huai’an City near Shanghai that had been selling cat meat to Guangdong and Guangxi provinces under the guise of rabbit, The Telegraph reports:
The discovery was made at around 4:30am on Wednesday morning when a tip-off led police and food safety officers to a clandestine abattoir in Chang’an village in the city of Huaian, around 260 miles northwest of Shanghai. Inside one anonymous residential building, they found freezers packed with the brittle carcasses of dozens of domestic cats.
“The floor was spattered with blood and there was bad smell,” the local Modern Express newspaper reported in a grisly dispatch from inside the slaughterhouse.
The Modern Express claimed the abattoir’s specialty had been transforming the corpses of thousands of “homeless and domesticated” felines into a lucrative and illegal trade. Some of the cats were kept alive and shipped to the southern provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi where they were sold for around 10 yuan (£1) per animal. Others were slaughtered in situ or died in their cages before being sold to butchers or at local markets under the guise of “rabbit”.
The “rabbit” was then served in local restaurants, state media claimed.
This video from Jiangsu TV gives us the gritty details:
Though this may pain cat lovers (author included), the fact that your favorite pet is being eaten is small potatoes compared to the bigger issue that eating meat in China seems more and more like throwing darts blindfolded at a menagerie. With pork disguised as beef, rat disguised as mutton, and cat disguised as multiple meats (it’s also posed as lamb), it’s hard to tell what you’re going to get, and where these substitutes are sourced. Not that the sources of the real meat are always so spectacular.
More on the illegal cat meat trade here.