Chinese animal-rights activists are combing a forest in eastern China with the hope of finding more than 1,000 kittens.
The cats, some as young as 4 months old, were rescued from a meat supplier last week – destined to end up on dinner plates — an organizer told Agence France-Presse on Monday.
“They were being sent to Guangzhou to be eaten by people,” Ni Zhijiang, the head of the Wuxi City Assn. for the Protection of Small Animals, told the news outlet.
Instead the kittens were released into the forest. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire.
“We didn’t want to release them,” Ni Zhijiang said. “Our volunteers had places to keep them. It’s definitely irresponsible.”
According to the Beijing Youth Daily, the cats were seized by authorities because the truck operator carrying the cats did not have the proper documents [link in Chinese]. The authorities then decided to release the cats because they had no source of funds to euthanize the animals.
Although cat meat is not commonly consumed in most parts of China, it is still considered a delicacy in some parts of southern China. The small but growing ranks of animal activists in China have staged several rescues similar to this in recent years in hopes of saving more animals. China, however, has no law or regulations to protect animals that are not on an endangered list.
So far, the animal activist group has only been able to locate 50 kittens.
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