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International Cat Care Position Statement on the Cat Meat Trade

International Cat Care recognises that the cat meat trade seen in several South-East Asian countries is in direct conflict with our charity vision, because of the significant negative impacts on the welfare of cats involved.

For example, the cat meat trade has been witnessed and documented to involve the following processes:

  • Theft of pet cats
  • Inhumane confinement and transport
    • Overcrowded cages containing cats unknown to each other
    • No water, food or toileting facilities
    • Long-distance travel spanning several hours to days
    • Lack of appropriate temperature control and proper ventilation
  • Inhumane handling and slaughter methods such as drowning or bludgeoning

The Five Freedoms

These processes conflict with internationally recognised accepted standards of care known as the Five Freedoms which are commonly applied to all animals under human control:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from fear and distress
  • Freedom from pain, injury, and disease
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour

The current processes involved in the cat meat trade clearly subject cats to experiences contrary to these freedoms and which will cause high levels of physical and mental suffering.

For these reasons, iCatCare condemns the trade.


International Cat Care welcomes the recent report from FOUR PAWS and the Change For Animals FoundationVictims of a Hidden Trade: Vietnam’s Cat Meat Trade

The report presents nationwide investigative findings into Vietnam’s cat meat trade and recommendations for how to safeguard animal welfare and public health and safety.

FOUR PAWS have created the following campaign video:

Every year in Vietnam, over one million cats, many of them stolen pets, suffer in an illicit trade fraught with incredible cruelty for their meat. FOUR PAWS and Change For Animals Foundation (CFAF) commissioned the first-ever nationwide investigations into Vietnam’s cat meat trade to uncover the inner workings of the trade, the findings of which were shocking.

Once a relatively small-scale and opportunistic trade localised in the North of the country, today’s cat meat trade consists of complex international and trans-provincial trading networks spanning distances of over 1,000 km, connecting holding areas to restaurants and slaughterhouses, and generating significant profits for those involved. Cat meat, referred to in Vietnamese as ‘thịt mèo’ or ‘little tiger’, is now available throughout Vietnam, and the inherent cruelty and suffering endured by the over one million cats involved in the trade each year is immeasurable.

Find out more here