Vietnam News

Black cats turned into paste and sold as coronavirus remedy in Vietnam

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Animal rights activists say black cats are being boiled, skinned, cooked then turned into paste sold as coronavirus medicine in Vietnam.

Charity No to Dog Meat say the practice is centred in the country’s capital Hanoi, but bottles of the ‘remedy’ are also being sold online. One photo purportedly shows the mixture being fed to a baby. Graphic footage taken by campaigners shows rows rows of dead cats drying in the sun after being slaughtered. Another video shows a live cat being placed in a cooking pot as boiling water is poured over it. No to Dog Meat founder Julia de Cadenet said watching the distressing clip made her blood run cold. She realises people worldwide are ‘understandably terrified of COVID-19’ but said this does not excuse the ‘horrific cruelty’ being inflicted on these defenceless animals.

The activist added: ‘There is no evidence whatsoever that eating cats cures coronavirus, and even if there was, this inhumane treatment is a level of cruelty that is unacceptable even for those who eat meat. ‘In China when the virus first broke rumours flew around that pets could spread the disease, this led to many people and the authorities rounding up animals and killing them.

‘Our human fears about this pandemic should not be used as an excuse to treat defenceless animals who look to us for protection, with utter contempt.’ The cat-based ‘cure’ is made by grinding up cooked animals into a paste, which is then taken by people suffering from coronavirus or those hoping not to catch it. Julia has warned both the UK Government and the UN many times that unsanitary meat production, such as the dog and cat meat trade in the Far East and Southeast Asia could cause a global health crisis. She added: ‘They recognise that live slaughter of animals in markets is particularly unsanitary and that human consumption of wildlife and endangered species must end.

‘China recently banned eating wildlife and formally recognised dogs and cats as pets, not food but more needs to be done throughout Asia. ‘In Vietnam and Indonesia, the practice of eating dogs and cats and exotic wildlife is still highly prevalent. Traders have been promoting “exotic” meats as a cure to coronavirus.’ At the start of April the Chinese city of Shenzhen made a ‘historic’ decision to ban the eating of cats, dogs and wild animals like snakes and lizards and could be fined up to 150,000 yuan (£17,036) for defying the rules.

Shortly after a similar law was announced by authorities Zhuhai, a city bordering Macau with a population of 1.7 million people. While there is no evidence that dogs or cats can contract the same kind of coronavirus ripping its way through the human population, the move to regulate animal markets in the People’s Republic follows backlash over sanitation concerns. Scientists say it is likely Covid-19 originated from bats and could have been passed to humans through another animal.

By James Hockaday – Metro UK – April 23, 2020

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