All posts tagged Cat Meat Trade


TACN is helping cat meat trade survivors Ball, Cotton and Tender get to their new homes in Germany this May!

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Ball, Cotton and Tender were among the 600 cats rescued off a truck in Shanghai in late November 2013.

The Story of Ball, Cotton and Tender

On the morning of 21st November 2013, animal rights activists in Shanghai stopped a truck loaded with 600 cats on Zhenguang Road. Ball, Cotton and Tender were among these poor animals, scared, starved and cramped in tiny bamboo cages.


From reliable sources, we knew that the cats on this truck were being transported to Guangdong meat markets. This rescue event attracted hundreds of local rescuers, activists and frontline volunteers, as well as the local media. Many people who have recently lost their cats also came to the scene – amazingly, some people actually found their cats and burst into tears seeing that they were in such a horrific condition. After a 14hour standoff, all 600 cats were successfully rescued.


Footage of this rescue event can be seen on a documentary we published on our YouTube channel (from 2:00 to 3:00 minutes).

To help with settling the rescued cats, several local rescue groups and organisations took the responsibility to house the cats and help with the post-rescue care. ThinkAdoption took in 70 cats, and our partner group Paws Pals Animal Rescue (PPAR) took in 17 cats and under the care of Guoguo Animal Clinic. The rest were taken in by foster volunteers, animal hospitals and rescue groups.

PPAR has done a great job in looking after the 17 cats they took in, despite the sad fact that a couple of them didn’t make it due to severe injury, the majority of the cats have recovered really well and many have been adopted to loving homes. To help more of these cats get a second chance in life, TACN has teamed up  with PPAR in order to help them with the adoption.

Luckily, with the help of our German Associate Eva, we were contacted by some potential adopters in Germany who would like to adopt a cat meat trade survivor. After few rounds of communication with the potential adopters and our coordinator Karen from PPAR in Shanghai, we have found 3 perfect matches! 3 well recovered cats for whom no Chinese owners have come forward – Ball, Cotton and Tender – are getting ready to start their new life in their new homes in Germany this May.

This international adoption is VITAL because it allows the cats to have a second chance in life, while also raising awareness abroad of the plight of meat-trade cats in China.

With Eva’s help, our team in Shanghai have already started preparing the cats for their journey. Ball, Cotton and Tender have already had their vaccinations, microchips and blood tests, and have also received their health certificates.

ball-microchipped Ball was such a brave boy having his microchip implanted

Now the cats are all ready and awaiting Eva to bring them back to Germany when she visits China in person this May, then on their arrival into Germany, each of them will be picked up by their new parent(s) at the airport and finally start their new lives in peace. We then will share with you their progress and new lives!

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The 69 cats that have been taken in by the TACN Beijing team and V-Cats arrived in Beijing on the evening of Jan 22nd.

69 survivors from the Wuhan Cat Rescue have arrived in Beijing, 3 have been adopted, 36 need homes and 30 are hospitalised as of 27th of Jan.


Upon arrival, we temporarily placed all of the cats in a location that was rented for this occasion. Volunteers from both TACN and V-Cats assessed the health condition of the cats and found out that almost half of them are in fairly poor condition.  Many of the cats were badly injured, and some of them even have open wounds. Some of them have been traumatized, and a few of them are showing signs of aggression and mistrust of humans caused by their horrific experiences previously.

While it is no doubt heartbreaking to know the kind of horror these innocent, defenceless lives have gone through, our team has been working hard to ensure that only good things happen from here onwards. As of now, 3 of the 69 cats have been adopted. 36 of the 69 cats are currently available for adoption.  Meanwhile, they are being housed in different rescue groups (including TACN), and with a variety of individuals in Beijing. The rest are currently hospitalised, we hope to see speedy recoveries from all of them.

One of the cats taken in by us, named Zhenzhu (Pearl) is currently being treated as she has got distemper, we have been monitoring her progress closely and providing her with the best care we could offer.


TACN will provide free microchipping and national database registry (our recently launched XINPET programme) for all of these cats.

For the future safety of these cat-meat-trade survivors, as well as promoting responsible pet ownership, we have made microchipping one of our mandatory requirements for future cat-adopters. More details about our XINPET programme will be available shortly.

Where are the rest of the cats?

Aside from the above mentioned 69 cats, about 1,100 of the 2,800 cats were either allowed to run away or secretly taken away by some of the Wuhan Small Animal Society’s people.  Heartbreakingly, there were far, far more cats than rescuers, and given the ongoing confrontation with the smugglers, some of the cats were not able to be taken back to the shelters.  Please understand that most mass rescues, such as this one, often end up failing due to many potential problems. While the rescue was ongoing, no one knew what the outcome would be, given the awful circumstances the activists and volunteers had to act with whatever power they had to save as many cats as they could.

We all mourn the 160 beautiful cats that passed away either before the arrival of our volunteers or before the cats were successfully rescued.  In spite of all the trails and hardships, there have been some pretty incredible victories.  482 cats have now been adopted. 260 cats are cared for by Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association. The rest, about 880 cats, have been taken in by different rescue groups and individuals from different parts of China: 

  • Anyuan Shelter : 40
  • XuDong: 22
  • Wubei Veterinary Association Board: 150
  • Chongqing Small Animal Protection Association: 201
  • Zhenzhou:  207


Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association and all of the rescue groups that took in the cats have been working day and night to take care of their charges, many of which are sick and require much needed medical attention.


To fund this rescue and all of the post-rescue work, we solely rely on donations from loving supporters such as yourself. We would have never made it this far without all of your generosity and continuous love and support.

Please know that you are in every way part of this cause just as much as we are, and you are making a huge difference! Please support our work and help us provide for these innocent animals so that they can have a chance for a brighter future!


Money is not the only way to help animals in desperate need. Please spread the word and tell people about what we do. Please share this story and our Facebook page with as many people you can.

Thank you!


If you want to help these cats, you can make a difference!

We have set up this fundraising campaign to give the world outside of China a way to directly influence the outcomes of the rescue and contribute to the success of the Chinese animal rights revolution.

ATTENTION: TACN is the ONLY organisation that is officially authorised by the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (WSAPA) to collect donations outside of China for the 2,800 cat Rescue on their behalf. Distribution and expenses of donations will be made transparent published once ready.

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Updates on the Wuhan 2,800 cats rescue

The victory of the rescue on 16th of January might have saved all of the cats from being slaughtered for their meat and fur, but the real work of keeping the cats safe and giving them a brighter future has just started for us.


We can only imagine the kind of challenges and the amount of work the activists must undertaking in a rescue as large as this one.  The challenges, however, have served to bring out the dedication of the activists and volunteers, generosity and kindness of all of the animal-loving people in China.


The cats were placed in a temporarily rented warehouse near the rescue site. While the volunteers were moving all of the 2,800 cats out of the tiny cages and into bigger kennels, they did basic health inspections and separated the cats into different categories based on their health conditions, genders and sizes.  All of the cats that appeared to be ill have been quarantined and treated by the volunteer veterinarians.


While the volunteers were going through all the cats, they found out that many of the cats were wearing collars, many of which even had name tags attached. Not all of the cats were strays; many of them were obviously well-loved family pets that were stolen from their families.


While the onsite volunteers have been numbering and recording each of the 2,800 cats, we have created a Lost Cat/adoption page on our Chinese website ( with pictures of photographed cats (The page is still being updated with new cats as volunteers are continuing their work on profiling cats).  Through this page, we hope the lost cats will be reunited with their families, and that the other rescued ones will find a human who will protect and love them forever. In just three days after the rescue, over a hundred loving people from different parts of the country showed up at the rescue location looking for their lost family members or adopting a new family member.



All of these have been made possible thanks to the dedicated on-site volunteers who have been working restlessly for very long hours, as well as the love and support from people from far away.


The volunteers who took the shift overnight, set up tents onsite, so they could monitor the site, and also wake up during the night to patrol the site and check on the sick and injured cats.


Donations both in the form of money and supplies (kennels, food, water, medicines, etc) have poured in from all over the country over the course of a few days during the rescue. These donations have provided the frontline volunteers the fuel and hope to continue their work on not only saving these cats’ lives, but also creating a future full of love and hope for each of them with a potential of a forever home.


Onsite volunteers have spent many sleepless nights taking care of the cats. They have provided their own vehicles to transport the cats and supplies. They have kept the rescue site clean and organised.


Their hands, arms and even faces are covered with scratches and bites from the terrified cats. Yet, no one has complained, and more volunteers are arriving every day.


Our partner team, V-Cats, who has dedicated themselves to protect both stray and pet cats and fighting against the cat meat trade, traveled from Beijing immediately after the cats were rescued and joined the rescue effort with Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (WSAPA).


V-Cats in Action

Due to the huge number of the cats involved in this rescue, it is a mission impossible for WSAPA to take in all of the cats on their own while they are waiting for adoptions. A call-out has been sent out to all animal rescue teams, shelters and individuals in China to help out with housing/fostering some of the cats. Both TACN and V-Cats will be taking over a number of cats. A total of 69 of the 2,800 cats are due to arrive in Beijing later in the evening of 22nd January.

Despite the tremendous amount of work and many sleepless nights, the leading organisation of the rescue, the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (WSAPA) has been keeping a neatly organised record of donations received, as well as a clear and detailed list of spending during the rescue. A summary of donations and spending of the rescue will be made public on our website after all of the cats are properly relocated and housed.


Most of the donations will be used to treat injured cats, as many of them are enduring serious injuries caused while being snatched. Most of the injuries were caused by the traps that were set up by the snatchers. The trap severely damaged and even broke the limbs of the cats. They then had to suffer many hours before being shut in tiny cages and continuing the journey of horror with the other terrified cat victims.


If you want to help these cats, you can make a difference!

We have set up this fundraising campaign to give the world outside of China a way to directly influence the outcomes of the rescue and contribute to the success of the Chinese animal rights revolution:


Your donation via our online fundraiser will help provide food, shelter and medical care for these cats.

ATTENTION: TACN is the ONLY organisation that is officially authorised by the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (WSAPA) to collect donations outside of China for the 2,800 cat Rescue on their behalf.

No help is too little to help animals in need.  Every dollar raised through your donations will be fully and publicly accounted for on the TACN website so that you can see how your gifts are helping to make China a kinder, more humane place for all animals.

One of our main goals is to unite people from across the world with these brave activists as they fight to ensure a better future for animals in China. The incredible outpouring of support that has come from around the world has warmed the hearts and fortified the resolve of the brave individuals who are fighting right now to save animals.

Money is not the only way to help these cats who are in desperate needs. You can help them by getting as many people involved as you can. Please spread the word and share this post. Thank you!


While this report is being written up, there are still many volunteers staying up over night looking after the cats, and in the morning many more will arrive at the warehouse to take their turn, and hopefully many more cats will be able to return to their homes all over the country. Many cats will be taken in by Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (WSAPA, and official donation pages have been setup especially for the rescued cats on Taobao by WSAPA. Because Taobao is a Chinese internal online shop, international donations are quite difficult to process, therefore, we have set up a donation page especially for this event.


Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (WSAPA will be the beneficiary of the donations collected via this fundraiser page. Distribution and expenses of donations will be made transparent by WSAPA and published once ready.


Full Event Report - Aftercare Ongoing

14th January 2014

6:00PM Chairman Du Fan from Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association had received an eye witness report from people who has spotted a truck on the roadside near Wuhan Technology University on Baishazhou Road, Wuchang, with many cages of cats being loaded onto the truck. Du Fan immediately gathered 7 volunteers and headed towards the location of the truck. When they got there, the truck had already left and was on the way towards the Southern China cities where the cats would be sold for their meat and fur. Du Fan and the volunteers took two cars and started to chase the truck.


11:00 PM The truck was about to leave Hubei province, but volunteers finally caught up with the truck at a toll gate. With help from the traffic warden the truck was finally stopped at the toll. Volunteers called uopn local quarantine officers straight away. Upon arrival, officials from the local quarantine department checked the quarantine certificate for these cats carefully and announced that it had been forged, therefore the transportation of these cats was illegal. However, due to the truck’s origin being out of their range of control, they could only order the truck to be returned back to Wuhan, under the supervision of volunteers, and to be examined once again by the quarantine officers there.

stopped-questioned footage-01

On the way back to Wuhan, the truck was driving in front with Du Fan and the volunteers following behind.  The truck driver had tried many times to speed up and get rid of them but failed to succeed.

15th January 2014

04:00 AM Everyone arrived at downtown Anshan in Jiangxia district but the truck driver refused to carry on and said he was feeling sick. Volunteers agreed to stop for a rest there, and waited for local officials during the break.

Local media and journalists arrived shortly and saw a truck with registration plates belonging to Anhui province parked on the roadside, loaded with countless tiny cages cramped with cats. According to the journalists’ initial count, there were roughly a hundred of cages on the truck. In the truck there were two males and one female, but they refused to answer questions or speak to the journalists.


During the initial unloading attempt by the activists at the current holding ground, a nearby market had caught fire, it was suspected that the cat dealers had set the market on fire to cause trouble and divert peoples attentions. Luckily the Jiangxia Animal Quarantine Department later ordered the truck to be relocated to new premises away from the fire.


All the cats were different breeds, cramped in tiny cages less than 20 cm in height and all of the cats seemed very weak. Volunteers told journalists that the quarantine certificate provided by the driver stated there were 2,800 cats and they were destined to Nanning, Guangxi province. The driver had told the volunteers that these cats were to be “domesticated then would be sold as pets”, but volunteers didn’t believe this story, knowing that these cats would not escape a certain death of horror if they were ever to reach their destination and would definitely be sold as meat.


11:00 The driver had called up their people and upon arrival they demanded the release of the truck and all the cats from volunteers, arguments started when their request was refused. The driver got in the truck and tried to flee, but he was stopped by volunteers.

Whilst the journalists’ were conducting an interview, a middle-aged man appeared at the scene, shouting with anger at the volunteers, accusing them of causing trouble. Although he didn’t reveal his identity, volunteers told the reporter that this angry man was the “owner” of the cats.

This man then went on to say that he, himself, had bought the cats from all over many towns and cities, but refused to say how much he had paid for them or where the cats were being driven to. He accused the volunteers of causing him money loss and said he would get it all back afterwards. He refused to comment on the forged quarantine certificate at all.

forged-quarantine-certificate footage-02

The Local Health Authority where the truck originated confirmed that the quarantine certificate was forged, and decided to detain the truck and all the cats while further investigation could be made. There were chances that the truck could still be released with all the cats if the “owner” provided supporting documents. Until now, all the cats have been cramped in the tiny cages for over 30 hours and volunteers had found many injured cats, even dead bodies inside the cages, so they started negotiating with the officials hoping they could let them unload the cats and provide them with food, water and essential care.


Their first few attempts got refused, but they didn’t give up and they kept on trying to negotiate. At the same time, thousands of Weibo posts had been published online, reposted and were circling on the the most popular microblog in China, many posted comments and accused Hongshan local officials of condoning crime if they let the truck go.

16th January 2014 Under the pressure of the volunteers, journalists and many more citizens all over China, the local officials agreed to hand over the cats to volunteers and local animal rescue groups to be taken care of.


Victory to the activists and volunteers

Volunteers were then facing the next stage of the rescue, finding a location as a temporary holding ground for all the cats while they separated the dead, injured and healthy ones putting the cats wearing collars to one side waiting to be found by their owners.

Eventually, volunteers found a local warehouse that agreed to provide space for housing the cats temporarily, and charging 1,000RMB (£100/$165) per day. Out of desperation, volunteers took the offer and moved all the cats to the location.

Instruction to the current housing location – 武汉救下的猫咪临时安置点指路详情

Upon arrival they immediately started unloading the cages and started checking on the cats as well as feeding them food and water. Until now, 40 hours have gone by, volunteers didn’t sleep or eat, and neither did the cats, they were fighting through the horror together.


More volunteers had been called upon and arrived at the warehouse, bringing with them supplies including food, water, crates, cages, feeding tubes, gloves, etc. Immediately they joined in with the operation, so they could take over and let some of the volunteers return home for some much needed rest and re-energising.


Many cats have now been moved into larger cages provided with food and water, but there are quite a lot of cats that didn’t make it.  Among the dead cats, many were pregnant and gave birth to their kittens while cramped in the cages on the truck, some of their kittens were squeezed out prematurely caused by the pressure of the tiny space and weight of other cats in cages.


The operation of finding owners of some of the cats have begun. As the news spread, many people who had previously lost their cats made their way to the warehouse, some of them have actually found their lost cats after just a short searching around. Many cats had collars, and were identified to be from Beijing and Tianjin, as they belonged to the local cat carer community where groups of rescuers and volunteers took the responsibilities of looking after them from strays to domesticated cats. After hearing the updates about this, the local rescuers from Beijing and Tianjin were on their way to Wuhan via a 2 hour flight, with the hope to find the recent lost cats that disappeared from their community.


While this report is being written up, there are still many volunteers staying up over night looking after the cats and in the morning many more will arrive at the warehouse to take their turn, and hopefully many more cats will be able to return to their homes all over the country. Many cats will  be taken in by Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (WSAPA, and official donation pages have been setup especially for the rescued cats on Taobao by WSAPA and Wuhan Cat ( Because Taobao is a Chinese internal online shop, international donation would be quite difficult, therefore, we have set up a donation page especially for this event.


Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association (WSAPA who will be the beneficiary of the donations collected via this fundraiser page. Distribution and expenses of donations will be made transparent by WSAPA and published once ready.

WSAPA Taobao Donation page – Chinese

More Event Related Materials

Event Photo Gallery

Wuhan local media report 01 – Video

wuhan local media report 02 – Video

Wuhan local newspaper reports

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