HORRIFIC pictures reveal the true horror within a Vietnamese cat meat market where animals are skinned, butchered and boiled for a delicacy dish called “little tiger”.
Despite the consumption of cat meat being illegal, Vietnam’s emerging middle class has a taste for exotic, expensive meats.
Cats are traditionally viewed as a source of strength and potency and is praised for its delicate taste.
Consequently, thousands of pet cats are snatched every year from homes across Vietnam and the southern provinces of China, where traders have been quick to capitalise on their neighbours’ appetite.
Like the dog-meat restaurants Vietnam has long been notorious for, cat restaurants present a harsh and terrifying environment for the animals, which are kept in crowded cages before their slaughter.
Cat meat is often eaten out of superstition in Vietnam.
Eating such meat at the start of each month is believed to ward off bad luck. However this must be repeated every month to keep the bad luck away.
Cats are the forgotten victims of the dog meat trade. They receive very little attention which allows the trade to fly comfortably under the radar. Per ratio per population, Vietnam has the largest cat meat trade and the largest dog meat trade.
In the late 1990s so many cats were eaten in Vietnam that rodents took over farms in plague proportions and destroyed the year’s crops. 1998 the Vietnamese government introduced a “Rat Eradication” law to shut down cat meat restaurants and “seriously deal with” cat smugglers. Around 2017 cat meat is still freely available across Vietnam.
Michelle Brown, CEO of Fight Dog Meat charity released the heartbreaking pictures in an effort to raise awareness of the barbaric cat meat trade in Vietnam.