Police in China have rescued over 1,000 cats from being sold as pork or mutton after a tip off from animal welfare activists.
The rescue took place in the city of Zhangjiagang where a truck carrying the cats was intercepted. These cats were rescued and taken to a shelter.
It's unclear whether the rescued cats were strays or pets. They were en route to the country's south where they would have been used for pork and lamb skewers and sausages.
Animal activists in Zhangjiagang noticed numerous cats confined in wooden boxes in a cemetery.
They monitored the situation for six days and called the police when the cats were loaded onto a truck on October 12.
In China, cat meat can sell for 4.5 yuan ($0.61) per "catty" which is roughly equivalent to 600g. One cat can produce four to five "catties" of meat.
This news sparked outrage on China's social media platform Weibo with many users calling for stricter inspections of the food industry and expressing their concern for animal welfare.
"May these people die a horrible death," said one Weibo user while another said, "When will there be laws to protect animals? Don't the lives of cats and dogs matter?"
A user wrote, "I won't be eating barbecue meat outside any more."
In a related case in June, a student in Jiangxi province found a rat's head in his meal at a college. Initially, school authorities tried to pass it off as duck meat but later acknowledged the student was right.