The authorities have arrested the bus owner and the driver, but they will only be investigated for "transporting goods of unknown origin". There are no laws in the country that prohibit the killing, sale and consumption of dog or cat meat.
Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Central Vietnamese police seized 600 pounds of frozen cat carcasses from a passenger bus traveling from south to north of the country. The animals were stored in ice in polystyrene boxes.
The macabre discovery took place on the night of January 13 to 14 in Kỳ Anh, a city located in the province of Hà Tĩnh. Yesterday the police said that Nguyễn Văn Định, owner of the bus that carried around 40 people, and his driver, Đặng Văn Đường, were unable to present any receipts or documents testifying to the origin of the carcasses.
Đường told police that when the bus arrived in the province of Đồng Tháp (in the Mekong Delta) the other evening, he was hired by a passer-by to transport the boxes to Thái Bình. The man had told him that someone would contact him to receive the load on his arrival. The driver said he had no idea what was in those boxes, while local media reported that the owner Định was aware that they were cat carcasses.
The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department of Hà Tĩnh has suggested destroying cat carcasses. Each animal weighed an average of five kilograms; there were around 120 on the bus. Authorities arrested the bus owner and driver, pending further investigation.
Under the laws in force, they will be prosecuted for "having transported goods of unknown origin". In Vietnam, there are no laws prohibiting the killing, sale and consumption of dog or cat meat. Although the authorities are trying to dissuade people from eating cat meat, many are not persuaded. Due to the limited local supply, several restaurants serve cat meat imported from China.