Authorities in central Vietnam on Tuesday seized a bus which was carrying more than one ton of dead dogs and cats and animal innards, allegedly to restaurants in the north of the country.
Police in Thanh Hoa Province stopped the car at 3 a.m. and found ten boxes with a very strong scent of rotting flesh. Each box carried five or six dogs and also cats.
Driver Ho Van Lan, 28, said he was paid to drive the boxes from Da Nang to restaurants in Thai Binh Province, just southeast of Hanoi.
Animal rights groups have condemned cat and dog meat trade in several Asian countries, including China and Vietnam, where the demand has become so high for this meat, people have actually been stealing pets from people to be put on the market.
Vietnam is believed to be the second biggest dog meat consumer in the world after China, with an estimated five million dogs killed and eaten each and every year.
The country’s biggest markets for the meat of cats are in Thai Binh and Nam Dinh Province, where the meat is still considered by some as a delicacy and served at festive occasions such as wedding parties. Dog meat is eaten almost across the country, especially by drinkers of alcohol.
A year ago, a huge cat smuggling case shocked the nation as well as international media as police in Hanoi stopped a truck carrying three tons of cats, all still alive, from China.
The cats, which were to be sold to restaurants in northern Vietnam, were all culled later as “undocumented goods.”