About the cat meat trade
Cat meat, referred to in Vietnamese as 'thịt mèo' or 'little tiger', is now available throughout Vietnam, and the inherent cruelty and suffering endured by the over one million cats involved in the trade each year is immeasurable. The brutal nature of the theft, grueling and long-distance transport over 1,000 km, cramped holding, and cruel slaughter is further exacerbated by cats’ unique sensitivity to stress.
Unlike Vietnam’s dog meat trade that is neither explicitly illegal nor regulated, there is a precedent in Vietnam for an explicit ban on the hunting, slaughtering and consumption of cats, under a Directive issued by the Prime Minister in 1998, that was in place until 2020. There are laws and regulations in place that, if enforced, would offer cats protection from the trade. However, with little enforcement thus far, the trade in cats goes largely unchallenged, and the situation is further confounded by evidence that suggests that many of those who are responsible for enforcing the laws (police and anti-corruption units) are actually involved in the trade, as well as consumption of cats.
Both cat and dog theft in Vietnam is rampant. Cat populations are being decimated in some areas, driving up the price of meat and encouraging more and more brazen and aggressive behaviour from those profiting from the trade. This in turn has resulted in further societal unrest and violence, and, in extreme yet increasingly frequent cases, vigilante justice in the form of thieves being seriously injured and even killed by infuriated pet owners.
In 2019, FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation (CFAF) commissioned nationwide investigations into Vietnam’s cat meat trade. This report, detailing the workings of the trade, is believed to be the first of its kind, and the findings are shocking.
Read the whole report here:
Victims of a Hidden Trade: Vietnam’s Cat Meat Trade
FOUR PAWS’ and Change For Animals Foundation’s nationwide investigative findings into Vietnam’s cat meat trade and recommendations for how to safeguard animal welfare and public health and safety, August 2020
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