Nearly 600 cats escaped their fate of being served for dinner in China after the truck they were being transported in to be slaughtered for meat crashed in the central city of Changsha on Monday.
Animal rights activists rushed to the scene and rescued the cats from the wreckage. The cats were mostly white and plump and clearly meant to be served as food. They were headed to restaurants in the southern Guandong province.
“It was easy to tell they were meant to be eaten, from looking at the crates you could tell their owners didn’t care if they were alive or dead. When I arrived, the truck was piled high with more than 50 crates. The cats had travelled for days, without water or food, and the smell was dreadful” Chenxin Xu of the Changsha Small Animal Protection Association told AFP on Monday.
Unfortunately, not all cats were so lucky. About 100 of them died in the accident, while some others escaped. The activist group negotiated with one of the truck drivers and bought the remaining felines for $10,000 yuan ($1,600). Xu says the cats are now awaiting adoption.
China does not have laws to protect non-endangered animals such as cats and dogs and although cats are not commonly served as food in China, some restaurants, especially in the south, will put cat on the menu.