Police save over 500 cats from the dinner table in eastern China
Man allegedly stole the animals and was planning to sell them to restaurants in other cities
The authorities have saved more than 500 cats from ending up on the dinner table in eastern China.
Police in the city of Jiujiang in Jiangsu province on Sunday arrested a man suspected of having stolen the cats who allegedly planned to transport and sell them to restaurants in other cities, Chinese news portal 163.com reports.
The man, surnamed Sun, was believed to have been stealing cats and selling them to restaurants for some time, according to the report.
A villager, surnamed Yang, reported the case on Friday morning, believing that a stranger had been stealing his pet cats.
The most recent of his pets to go missing had been nursing five kittens born just days ago, the report quoted Yang as saying.
During the police investigation, officers found the place where the cats were being temporarily kept and arrested him as he was preparing to transport the animals to sell to restaurants, the report said.
Photos accompanying the report showed dozens of cats crammed into seven or eight cages.
“Sun used sparrows in cages as bait, setting traps to catch the cats,” a policeman handling the case said. “Some of these cats were pets, others were just street cats. Each cat could be sold for up to 30 yuan (US$4.40).”
More cats were later found in a hut near a highway, some of them in poor health as they sweltered in the heat, the report said. It did not say whether Yang was able to find his missing cats.