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Animals lovers win extra life for 400 cats


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Animal lovers win extra life for 400 Chinese cats

Jonathan Watts in Beijing

 

China's nascent animal rights movement claimed a rare and bloody victory today after rescuing more than 400 cats that were about to be slaughtered for their fur and meat.

 

The felines were saved from a market in Tianjin after a standoff last week between 100 pet lovers and police that left one protester hospitalised.

 

Until recent years, respect for animal rights was almost non-existent in China, where dogs, cats, birds, lizards and turtles are often displayed in cramped market cages, before being slaughtered - sometimes by being beaten to death.

 

But the country's rising affluence has brought with it a pet-pampering middle class, many of whom think of dogs as man's best friend rather than a popular item on a restaurant menu.

 

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