Thousands of cats were confiscated from smugglers in Hanoi, Vietnam thanks to an anonymous tip. The cats had been purchased from China and illegally brought into Vietnam to be sold for meat. While in the U.S., the thought of eating a cat is abhorrent, in some regions of Asia, cat is considered a delicacy. In Vietnam, cat meat is known as “little tiger,” and although it is officially banned, it can still be found in a number of specialty restaurants across the country.

Local authorities searched a parked truck in the capital city and found over three tons of cats being kept in horrible conditions.

WTF?! Thousands of Cats Destined for Meat Market Apprehended in Vietnam Might be Sentenced to Death

 

The cats were filthy and crowded together in small bamboo crates. Tails and feet could be seen sticking out from the cages. We can only imagine the immense stress and pain these cats endured through their long journey from China to Vietnam.

WTF?! Thousands of Cats Destined for Meat Market Apprehended in Vietnam Might be Sentenced to Death

 

The driver of the truck has been apprehended by authorities and will be fined the equivalent of $350 for transporting the cats without proper documentation. While this fine hardly seems like an ample amount for causing so much harm to thousands of cats, the real injustice comes in the form of what is going to happen to these poor tortured cats.

WTF?! Thousands of Cats Destined for Meat Market Apprehended in Vietnam Might be Sentenced to Death

 

Under Vietnamese law, all smuggled goods are to be destroyed by the government. Seeing these cats as contraband, the law dictates that they are to be destroyed, as a form of punishment for the smuggler.

Sorry, WHAT?!  These animals are living, breathing beings who were captured from their homes, crammed into the back of a truck and deprived of their basic needs for hours on end … and now they are the ones who have to pay for this horrendous crime? How this is justice, we simply cannot comprehend.

WTF?! Thousands of Cats Destined for Meat Market Apprehended in Vietnam Might be Sentenced to Death

 

Local authorities have not yet decided what to do with the cats because there are so many of them, but there is still a very real chance that thousands of cats will be killed. Thankfully, there is still time to persuade authorities to save these cats.

If you think this is a gross injustice, we seriously encourage you to start a petition to ensure this does not happen. Send a message to Vietnam Animal Cruelty and ask them to aid in saving these cats. Contact Humane Society International and beseech them to act. It is our duty to stand up for these animals since they cannot stand up for themselves!

All image source: AFP/Getty Images