600 Stray Cats Boiled Alive
Police caught a man in his 50’s who boiled alive stray cats and sold them to “Health Food Centers”.
On May 21, Busan Bukbu (Northern) Police booked without detention, poacher Mr. A (54 years old) on charges of capturing and slaughtering 600 stray cats (a violation of Animal Protection Act).
Mr. A is suspected of capturing stray cats by setting traps with baits such as chicken in and around residential areas of Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do Province and slaughtering them in a secret location in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do from February of last year until recently.
Police stated that Mr. A scalded live cats in boiling water for about 2 minutes to kill them, removed their fur, took out their organs, stored them in the freezer and then sold them to “Health Food Center” at 15,000 Won ($14 USD) each.
The police stated that when they raided Mr. A’s secret slaughterhouse, there were 18 cats about to be slaughtered.
Mr. A testified that he “captured and sold around 600 stray cats”.
Police explained that for over one year, Mr. A was able to profit from capturing because there is a high demand for cat soup because of the false belief that cat soup is good for arthritis, which has no cure.
However, police requested that unlike livestock animals such as cows and pigs, there is no management of cats for sanitation and the parasite inside a cat’s body can be transmitted to humans and therefore, cats should not be consumed.
Police stated that they will not punish the “Health Food Centers” who had bought the cats from Mr. A because there are no laws to punish them.
The current enforcement ordinance for the Animal Protection Act excludes cats from the provision prohibiting capture and sale, because they are subject to TNR(Trap/Neuter/Return) in order to reduce their numbers.
A police officer in charge of the investigation stated that they cannot punish Mr. A for selling stray cats so they are only charging him for violation of the provisions in the Animal Protection Act, Article 8, which prohibits the act of killing by cruel methods and the act of killing an animal with other animals of the same species present at the scene. He also stated that they will request the relevant governmental authority to review whether the exclusion of cats in the Animal Protection Act is appropriate with the current reality.
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