Target: Truong Tam Sang, President of Vietnam
Goal: Demand increased monitoring of restaurants in order to deter the sale of illegal cat and dog meat.
Thousands of cats were unceremoniously crushed to death by Vietnamese officials after being seized from illegal meat traders. The animals, which went without food and water for days aboard a shipping truck, were kept in bamboo cages so crowded that their limbs and tails stuck out of cage bars. Officials who seized the truck reported a foul stench caused by abundant animal waste and the decomposition of dead animals.
The way Vietnamese officials handled the situation was even more shocking than the discovery itself. In a statement, an officer said that in accordance with smuggled goods laws, the entire shipment of cats was buried. To ensure that the cats were dead before they were buried, they were crushed to death with a truck’s compactor.
The cats, 3 tons of which were seized from a truck destined for an upscale restaurant in Hanoi, were smuggled in from China, a major player in the illegal animal trade. While the consumption of cat and dog meat is illegal in Vietnam, it is sought after as a delicacy and is widely available at specialist restaurants. The demand for cat meat, referred to as “little tiger,” is so great that the animals are smuggled in from all over Asia, including Laos, Thailand, and China.
There are several ways that this horrific situation could have been prevented entirely, including increased oversight of imports at border crossings. Directly targeting the restaurants serving illegal fares would have an immediate impact on the demand, and is likely to be the most effective and cost-efficient way to weaken the industry. Sign the petition below to demand that Vietnam crack down on the illegal cat and dog meat trade with increased government inspections of imports and restaurants.
Dear Mr. Truong Tam Sang,
Thousands of cats were recently crushed to death after being seized by police officials in Hanoi. The cats were found crammed into a filthy truck, many of them dead from dehydration, starvation, or heat stroke. The animals, which were smuggled in from China, were destined for various upscale restaurants that still sell cat and dog meat as a delicacy despite it being illegal.
This entire fiasco could have been easily averted with increased border control and a greater effort to enforce laws preventing the consumption of domestic animal meat. We, the undersigned, demand that you address the root of the issue and go after restaurants fueling the demand for illegal meats.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: David Corby via Wikimedia Commons