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China Internet surfers save 840 cats

China Internet surfers save 840 cats

In Shanghai, around 1000 cats destined for the dinner table have been rescued.

New Delhi:In Shanghai, around 1000 cats destined for the dinner table have been rescued.

Animal lover Huo Puyang rushed to a parking lot after reading an Internet notice about two trucks carrying stolen cats.

The felines were on their way to the booming southern province of Guangdong, where some residents pride themselves as gourmets who will eat anything that flies, crawls or swims.

Huo had no evidence they were stolen so she paid 1,300 dollars for the cats and took them home. She's appealing to animal lovers to adopt the cats before she runs out of space and food.

The power of the Internet has saved more than 800 cats from being skinned and served up on Chinese dinner tables.

About 30 animal lovers rushed to the parking lot in Shanghai after reading an Internet posting sparked by animal rights activist Huo Puyang that said two trucks carrying cats in wooden boxes had been intercepted, Huo said on Monday.

Huo's daughter-in-law had been looking for their missing pets and stumbled into the trucks, one of which sped away. The daughter-in-law called Huo whose animal-loving friends then sent out an Internet alert last Friday.

"It was a cruel sight. Pregnant cats and kittens were packed into the boxes," Huo told Reuters.

Huo also telephoned police, who took the driver and the truck to a police station.

"Many cats had died and smelled," she said. "Some were trampled to death. Others bit each other,” she added.

Police said Huo had lacked evidence to prove the 42 boxes held stolen pets and told the animal lovers to buy the cats.

The driver demanded 14 yuan each, After hours of haggling, the animal lovers paid more than 10,000 yuan ($1,300) for 840 cats.

"We have a difficult task. The cost of feeding them pales compared to medical fees, vaccines and sterilisation," Huo said.

She called for donations and for other animal lovers to adopt the cats, which were initially being cared for at her shelter.

(Inputs from Agency)

first published:July 10, 2007, 15:22 IST