China: Pet lovers save 800 cats from dinner table in N China’s Tianjin

Pet lovers save 800 cats from dinner table in N China’s Tianjin

BEIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — 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.

Pet lovers and animal welfare volunteers started pouring into a neighborhood in Hongqiao district of the municipality, 120 km from Beijing, minutes after photographs of the caged cats were flashed on the Internet on Monday night, according to Wednesday’s China Daily.

The trader said the cats, which he bought for 10 yuan apiece, were to be sent to Guangzhou, slaughtered and served as food at restaurants in South China.

Li Na, a saleswoman by profession, who was present at the spot, said the cats were either picked up from the streets or stolen from their owners.

Li was among dozens of local residents who spent the night outside the “flower and birds store” to ensure the cats were not sneaked away behind their backs. Residents said the store, which has a license to sell flowers, birds, fish and worms, had been trading cats for the last six months.

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. Qin said the cats were suffocating in the cages and many of them would have died on the way to Guangzhou.

It took Li, Qin and their likes 24 hours to convince the trader to free the cats after intervention from the police last night. Police have given the volunteers a room in a nearby school to house the cats, many of which are in need of urgent medical care, Qin said.

“Even though I was happy when the trader agreed to release the cats, I was simply disgusted when he asked for money in return for the animals’ lives,” Li said.

He Yong, a representative of the International Fund of Animal Welfare, said the incident was only the “tip of an iceberg”.

China has no laws prohibiting the trading of cats, resulting in large-scale theft of the animals, which reportedly get eaten.

“The chain of the cat trade is really long,” He said.

Nepal: Photographs of the Gadhimai Slaughter – 250,000 Animals






Dutch video link:

SAV post last week: 



Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2009 08:11:52 -0800
Manoj Gautam, Representative of Roots and Shoots Nepal : ‘I am in
total shock after watching the killing of the buffaloes. I have no
words to describe the scene. Thousands of buffaloes were standing in
an enclosure when butchers holding swords started hacking randomly at
the animals. No one was holding the buffaloes – many tried to escape.
Baby buffaloes were bleating and searching for their mothers. Soon
they were walking around in a pool of blood. They were hunted down by
the men. Needless to say, not a single animal survived the blood bath.
In fact, some animals had already died before the sacrifice from the
transport and the lack of food and water. They were left in the same
spot with the living ones. It was a scene I will never be able to
forget. Now I just want to go home and wait for the courage to
continue our campaign.’

Krishna Singh, Programme Manager Animal Nepal: ‘I visited Gadhimai
before the killing started and what I saw made me very sad. There was
a baby goat that died from a lack of food and water. It just lied
there – no one seem to notice it. The baby buffaloes came up to me,
and wanted to be petted. They were scared and needed some comfort.’

Bibi Funyal, photographer: ‘I was assigned to film the festival. At
first I seemed okay but when the killing started I suddenly found my
knees shaking. In the beginning the butchers were able to cut the
heads of the buffaloes in one stroke. Later they seemed to get into a
frenzy and did not kill properly. I would take them a long time to
severe the heads. The buffaloes were mooing – it was a terrible sound.
The babies were searching for their mothers, not understanding what
was going. At some point a baby buffalo came up to me and it touched
my tripod. That was when I felt I would be passing out if I continued
filming. When I left the place I had to step over thousands of bodies
and heads and wade through animal blood. It was something I will never
do again, even if they offer me an award.’

Lucia de Vries, Director Animal Nepal, international campaigner: ‘Now
that I observed the festival I am convinced that these killings are
among the worst forms of animal cruelty in the world
. I pray that when
the images come out the international community will agree that we
have to stop this. To kill thousands of buffaloes without any
humanity, by starving them for 2/3 days, by not tethering them, by
carrying out the beheading publicly by butchers in a frenzy, and by
mixing the dead with the living, is something unimaginable and totally
I have a sense of failure and feel we have let these
beautiful, loyal creatures down entirely. I appeal to all concerned
citizens to do whatever is in their ability to stop the killings at

Birgunj, November 24, 2009

Statements by Gadhimai Campaigners and Other Observers

Pramada Shah, President of Animal Welfare Network Nepal: ‘After being
at Gadhimai I now have an even stronger determination to continue the
campaign as long as it takes for them to stop. No other country would
allow such a massacre.
I feel the government should have taken a
stronger stand or at least appealed to the people to worship in a non
violent manner. They used the lame excuse that this is an ancient
culture that should run its course.
I don’t blame the innocent
devotees but rather the organizers and the educated who do not seem to
care. We intend to work in coordination with the Indian groups to
raise awareness among the visitors, of whom 60-80 percent are Indian.
We also want to work with the local communities with the hope that the
next Gadhimai will be a different one.’

Lucia de Vries
Freelance Journalist
Nepal – Netherlands