Southern Metropolis Daily
December 15, 2008
Everyday, thousands of cats in Nanjing are packed in cages and shipped by railway to a market in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, reports Southern Metropolis Daily. The cats, which are either stolen pets or strays caught off the streets, end up in restaurants and on local dinner tables.
Here's a partial translation:
At 3:37 on December 10th, the K25 train arrived at Dongguan East Station. About 1,500 cats had been sent on the train from Nanjing. Eight men wearing camouflage got on the train and started to move off the cages crammed with cats. Every time a cage landed on the ground, cats screeched in pain.
The invoice showed that this shipment contained 1,500 cats, and included a sterilization certificate and an animal quarantine certificate issued by official veterinerians.
The cats were loaded to trucks and sent to the Guijiang Three Birds Market, which is the biggest wholesale poultry market in southern China. Every day, more than 100,000 animals are sold here. From that market, the cats were distributed to other cities in Guangdong.
Around ten wholesale vendors are involved in the dog and cat trade. One of them, known as "Big Boss," spoke Mandarin with a Cantonese accent, while the others spoke different dialects.
Cats here are sold in cages to smaller vendors for 4 yuan per kilogram, which includes the weight of the cages and any dead animals. For smaller-volume trading, the prices are 9 yuan per kilo for medium-sized cats and 14 yuan per kilo for the bigger ones.
Following a man who bought some cats, the reporter arrived at a Cantonese food restaurant where cat is priced for 36 yuan per kilo. In the restaurant, customers ordered a dish called "braised cat," which cost 147 yuan. Describing the dish, the waitress said that cat meat has the medicinal property of "nourishing yin and boosting yang." The customers said that they wanted to try it because they were curious.
Cats are packed in cages (from Nalan Jingmeng's blog)
The reporter traced the source of the cats to suburban counties of Nanjing, where some people make a living catching cats and selling them for about 10 to 20 yuan each to wholesalers. These cat thieves are called "cat fishermen." A fisherman can catch about 20 cats in one night. A Nanjing-based organization which is committed to helping stray cats confirmed to the newspaper that there are far fewer stray cats in the city this year than normal.
In Nanjing, there is also a market specializing in the cat trade. Local police said that the market has been around for over ten years and that it doesn't violate the law.
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