Sunday, March 9, 2008

Inside Beijing's shocking death camp for cats


The London Daily Mail reports that "Thousands of pet cats in Beijing are being abandoned by their owners and sent to die in secretive government pounds as China mounts an aggressive drive to clean up the capital in preparation for the Olympic Games.
Hundreds of cats a day are being rounded and crammed into cages so small they cannot even turn around.
Then they are trucked to what animal welfare groups describe as death camps on the edges of the city.
The cull comes in the wake of a government campaign warning of the diseases cats carry and ordering residents to help clear the streets of them.
Cat owners, terrified by the disease warning, are dumping their pets in the streets to be picked up by special collection teams.
Paranoia is so intense that six stray cats -including two pregnant females - were beaten to death with sticks by teachers at a Beijing kindergarten, who feared they might pass illnesses to the children.
China's leaders are convinced that animals pose a serious urban health risk and may have contributed to the outbreak of SARS - a deadly respiratory virus - in 2003.
But the crackdown on cats is seen by animal campaigners as just one of a number of extreme measures being taken by communist leaders to ensure that its capital appears clean, green and welcoming during the Olympics...
The cull of Beijing's estimated 500,000 cat population is certain to provoke international outrage as it comes just over a year after the Chinese were criticised for rounding up and killing stray dogs across the country.
Animal welfare groups in China are already protesting, but their members fear punishment from the authorities.
Officials say people can adopt animals from the 12 cat pounds set up around the city, but welfare groups say they are almost impossible to get inside and believe few cats survive.
One cat lovers' group negotiated the release of 30 pets from one of the compounds in Shahe, north-west Beijing, but said they were in such a pitiful condition that half of them died within days of their release.
"These cats are being left to die. It is very inhumane," said the group's founder Yan Qi, who runs a sanctuary for cats."

2 comments:

Debo Hobo said...

This is an absolute outrage! Unfortunately it is too late for the Olympics to be moved but China should be banned from hosting any further world events such as this.

The All Seeing Eye said...

Debo Hobo, you would wonder why we don't hear about this story in the US press....