Police in China have successfully saved 1000 cats from a lorry ferrying them to a slaughter house.
The cats were intended to be sold as Pork, Mutton and Sausages.
According to reports from the largely populated country, authorities have also been able to disband part of an underground fraudulent business that sold the feline meat to unsuspecting people disguising it as pork or mutton to avoid raising any alarms.
Animal lovers on Oct 12 alerted police to a “cat car” – dealers in trucks who hunt cats and sell the meat as food – in Zhangjiagang, a county in Jiangsu province’s Suzhou city, Chinese daily The Paper reported.
The cats were in a truck in the eastern city of Zhangjiagang, when officers, who had received a tip-off from the animal welfare activists, intercepted the vehicle.
In China, cat meat can sell for around 4.5 yuan (51p) per catty, which is a unit of measure similar to 600g, according to activists. A single cat can yield around four to five catties.
Police officers and the ministry of agriculture have now sent the rescued cats to shelter although it is has not come to light whether they were strays or pets.
Details about the cats, such as their breed and fur color, were placed online to allow their owners to claim them.
The cats would be put up for adoption if they stay unclaimed after a month, with new owners screened and agreeing to receiving follow-up visits to make sure they do not abandon their cats. The lure of the profits in selling the cat meat motivated the abductors.