Perhaps Gareth Morgan can give them some advice

Gareth Morgan has all sorts of advice lately, but perhaps he might like to take his motorbike on a trip to Vietnam to give them some assistance with a little culinary problem they are having.

VICE News reports:

Just after midnight on Tuesday, police in Hanoi detained a truck smuggling three tons of live cats into Vietnam. The driver, a 30-year-old man named Hoang Van Hieu, admitted that the ill-begotten cats were bound for restaurants in the country, where cat meat is, in fact, a delicacy, especially in the provinces of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, not far from Hanoi.

“After receiving a tip, we searched the truck and discovered the cats inside,” Sky News?quoted Dong Da district deputy chief of police Cao Van Loc as saying. “The owner, also the driver, said he bought the cats at the [Chinese] border area of Quang Ninh province. All of the cats were from China.”

With an average adult weight of about ten pounds for a healthy domestic feline, three tons means we’re talking hundreds of cats. The animals, crammed on top of one another in bamboo cages, were just the latest haul in a small cat-trafficking market that sources from nearby China, Laos, and Thailand to satiate Vietnam’s appetite for kitty flesh. ??

Of course, Vietnam isn’t the only nation to enjoy the occasional cat. Feral cats, strays, and captured pets have been consumed with some regularity in the Canton(Guangdong) region of China, South Korea, and parts of rural Taiwan. Some animal-protection publications suggest the Asian cat market consumes up to 4 million kittens a year. Whatever the number, a fixation on unconventional meats in Asia looms in the American imagination?though there’s evidence eating cats and dogs is relatively common in other places, notably Switzerland.

We could solve our own cat problem by farming and exporting the disgusting creatures to a country that appreciates and has a taste for cats.

Despite official government condemnation of unsanitary kitten meat and the promotion of the use of cats to control urban rats, shop owners in Vietnam continue to sell cat for up to $50 to $70 apiece?a rate that suggests high demand. Due to a lack of cat breeders who sell their charges for food and the extreme caution of pet owners in Vietnam, this demand appears to be encouraging smuggling from neighboring countries like China. And this most recent three-ton shipment far surpasses the 90-cat haul that came over the border from Thailand, which made regional headlines in 2013?a sign of the market’s growth.

“A lot of people eat cat meat,” Van Duang, a Hanoi restaurant owner, told AFP in 2014. “It’s a novelty. They want to try it.”

Maybe the novelty of cat meat will wear off, or popular sentiment will change as more locals keep cats as pets. But for now, the government’s efforts to rein in trafficking have fallen pretty flat.

I say help them out and send them sanitary kitten meat.


– VICE News