The Slatest

Vietnamese Authorities Seize Truck Full of Cats Intended for Eating

Some of the cats that have been seized.


This is the kind of viral-ish story that usually deserves skepticism, but it’s being reported by the well-established AFP wire service, and there are pictures:

Thousands of live cats destined “for consumption” have been seized in Hanoi after being smuggled from China, police said Thursday, but their fate still hangs in the balance.

Cat meat, known locally as “little tiger”, is an increasingly popular delicacy in Vietnam, and although officially banned is widely available in specialist restaurants.

AFP has in fact reported previously on the underground Vietnamese custom:

Vietnam has forbidden the consumption of cats in an effort to encourage their ownership and keep the capital’s rat population under control.

But there are still dozens of restaurants serving cat in Hanoi and it is rare to see felines roaming the streets – most pet-owners keep them indoors or tied up out of fear of cat thieves.

The AFP reporter who wrote that story is named Cat Barton.

A police officer told AFP that seized, smuggled goods are typically destroyed—i.e., in normal circumstances the cats would be killed—but that these particular animals’ fate has not yet been determined. Below, another image of the seized cats.