It’s very bad luck to be a black cat in Vietnam, where the poor animals are being killed and eaten amid rumors their ground-up bodies can treat the coronavirus, animal rights activists said.
The No to Dog Meat charity said the black felines are boiled, skinned and cooked before being turned into paste and sold as medicine to fight COVID-19, according to South West News Service.
The gruesome and barbaric practice is centered around the city of Hanoi, but the concoction also is being sold online, the news outlet reported.
One stomach-churning image purportedly shows the mixture being fed to a baby.
Horrific video obtained by the group shows rows of dead cats drying in the sun after being slaughtered, as well as a live cat being boiled.
Charity founder Julia de Cadenet said the footage made her blood curdle.
“People all over the world are understandably terrified of COVID-19, but this does not excuse the horrific cruelty that Vietnamese people are inflicting on these poor cats,” she said.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that eating cats cures coronavirus, and even if there was, this inhumane treatment is a level of cruelty that is unacceptable even for those who eat meat,” de Cadenet continued.
“In China, when the virus first broke, rumors flew around that pets could spread the disease. This led to many people and the authorities rounding up animals and killing them,” she said.
“Our human fears about this pandemic should not be used as an excuse to treat defenseless animals who look to us for protection, with utter contempt.”
The campaigner has warned both the UK and the UN that unsanitary meat production, such as the dog and cat meat trade, could spark a global health crisis.
“They recognize that live slaughter of animals in markets is particularly unsanitary and that human consumption of wildlife and endangered species must end,” she said.
“China recently banned eating wildlife and formally recognized dogs and cats as pets, not food, but more needs to be done throughout Asia,” de Cadenet added.
“In Vietnam and Indonesia, the practice of eating dogs and cats and exotic wildlife is still highly prevalent. Traders have been promoting ‘exotic’ meats as a cure to coronavirus.”