HANOI (dpa) – Police in Hanoi have seized a truck carrying over a ton of cats smuggled from China to sell to restaurants in northern Vietnam, authorities said Wednesday.
“After receiving a tip, we searched the truck and discovered the cats inside,” Cao Van Loc, deputy chief of police in Dong Da District, told dpa.
“The owner, also the driver, said he bought the cats at the border area of Quang Ninh province,” Loc said. “All of cats were from China.”
Photos in An Ninh Thu Do newspaper showed the cats crammed into wooden crates, with some legs and tails poking out.
Loc said the cats will be destroyed and the owner will be fined around 350 dollars for transporting goods without the correct documents.
Cat meat is considered a delicacy, particularly in northern Vietnam, where it is called “little tiger” and is considered good luck. The meat is usually fried or barbecued and served at festive occasions or eaten as a snack with rice wine.
In recent years, cat meat has become more popular, leading to an increase in smuggling from China, according to local media reports.