Cat defenders storm Shenzhen restaurant

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2006:

SHENZHEN–About 40 cat-lovers backed by
“a large crowd including children,” according to
China Daily, whom they gathered as they
marched, stormed the newly opened Fang Company
Cat Meatball Restaurant in Shenzhen on June 17,
2006, extracting a promise from the owner to
serve cats no more.
Zhang Jing and Song Yuanhui of the
Southern Metropolis Daily reported that “almost
100 animal rights defenders gathered in front of
the restaurant to protest,” one day after the
newspaper published an exposé of how cats were
killed there.

Visitors to Guangdong province, China,
have often been appalled since circa 1350 by
local “Dragon and Tiger” cuisine, combining the
flesh of cats with snakes. As many as 10,000
cats per day are eaten in the city of Guangzhou
each winter, according to recent estimates–but
the Shenzhen Cat Net web site founder,
identified by China Daily only as “Isobel,” may
have sparked a movement against the custom by
carrying a white rose to the restaurant in memory
of the slaughtered cats.
“More than 10” supporters followed her,
Zhang Jing and Song Yuanhui wrote, holding
banners and distributing handbills denouncing
both eating cats and eating dogs.
“The activists, mostly women, poured
into the restaurant demanding that the owner free
the cats” they believed were on the premises,
said China Daily. “They burst into tears upon
finding a skinned cat in a refrigerator. There
were no live cats in the restaurant, as the
owner, according to an eyewitness, relocated
them to other places.”
“I cannot go on with my business, and I
will not sell cat meat any more,” the restaurant
owner reportedly pledged.
Among the activists was Gao Haiyun, Miss
Shenzhen for 2005, who according to China Daily
told restaurant customers to “stop eating cats
and dogs and become civilized.”
“After the cat meatball restaurant owner
left,” Zhang Jing and Song Yuanhui said, “the
protestors prepared to proceed to another
restaurant in Shawan.” What happened there was
not reported.
Shenzhen Pets Association president Zhu
Xiaofan pointed out the need for affordable cat
sterilization.
“Since cats have three or four times the
reproductive capacity of dogs, there are stray
cats in every district,” the Southern Metropolis
Daily noted. “The situation of stray cats is
presently unmanageable.”
The restaurant raids came about two years
after the formation of the Chinese Cats
Protection Network, now called the Chinese
Companion Animal Protection Network.
Expanded to 26 member societies, CCAPN
in January 2006 began organizing well-publicized
protests against dog and cat eating, starting in
Guangzhou, following up in four other cities
“with very optimal response from public,”
according to Jia Meng of the Centre for Animal
Welfare and Ethics at the University of
Queensland School of Veterinary Science in
Gatton, Australia.

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