HANOI, VIETNAM — Vietnamese police have discovered around 2,000 dead cats intended for use in traditional medicine, state media said Friday.
The bodies of the felines were found at a slaughterhouse in Dong Thap province in the Mekong Delta on Thursday, together with 480 live animals, according to the official provincial newspaper.
The cats were in cold storage and believed to be destined for northern Vietnam.
Some in Vietnam believe that extracts from cat bones can help cure conditions such as asthma and osteoporosis.
It is estimated that up to a million cats fall victim to the illegal wildlife trade every year in Vietnam, according to animal welfare organisation Four Paws International.
Consumption of dogs and cats is legal in the country. Many restaurants serve the meat but need certificates to show the origin of the animals.
The slaughterhouse in Dong Thap failed to provide paperwork authorising the killings and detailing traceability.
No one has been arrested in the case so far.
The traditional medicine industry is a major driver of the illegal wildlife trade in Asia, and Vietnam is both a consumption and transport hub.