Four tons of cat meat and 480 live cats were found at a slaughterhouse in the Mekong Delta’s Dong Thap Province on Thursday.
Inspectors found that the facility in Lai Vung District, owned by Nguyen Huy Quyen, had been collecting and transporting animals without veterinarian hygiene certificates.
The origins of the cat meat discovered remain unclear. The meat was in cold storage and also lacked any certification or paperwork.
A representative from the slaughterhouse and animal factory said the cats were bought from several localities in the delta. The butchered cats were awaiting transport to northern Vietnam where they would be made into bone glue, a traditional medicine, the representative said.
Each cat weighs an average of 2 kg, and thus the total remains accounted for about 2,000 cats.
The live cats would be transported to Ho Chi Minh City for sale, the representative explained.
Vo Be Hien, head of the Dong Thap animal husbandry department, said the slaughterhouse was not authorized to butcher live cats, but it would be allowed to transport them once it secures the papers to do so.
The four tons of cat meat would be disposed of, the department head said, while the live cats would be kept at the cat farm for health inspections and vaccinations before transport.
The facility would be fined and its owners and management punished, Hien added, but that would be the responsibility of Dong Thap Environmental Police Department.
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