Taiwanese officials euthanized more than 150 valuable cats illegally imported from mainland China, sparking outrage from the general public.
The Taiwanese Coast Guard intercepted a Fishing boat in the Taiwan Strait, and on board they found 62 cages with 154 felines, which included the Russian blue breeds, ragdoll, Persian American Shorthair and British shorthair.
The total market value of the cats was estimated to be 10 million New Taiwan dollars (approximately USD $357,000).
The local authorities did not know the origin of the animals and decided to euthanize them, arguing that posed a threat for wildlife and local pets, as they could carry disease.
The cats were euthanized on Saturday, which coincided with International Homeless Animal Day.
The President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, rated from “sad” said decision but blamed the smugglers for the deaths of the animals and urged the public to understand the need to prevent inadvertent import of diseases in trafficked animals.
Taiwanese Agriculture Council Minister Chen Chi-chung defended the decision to slaughter the cats, saying that “even after the quarantine the cats still could carry diseases, due to the long latency periods of the viruses.
— 程興桃Hans (@irkevjim) August 22, 2021