5000 Animals Found Dead at Chinese Shipping Depot
Animal welfare group Utopia were unprepared for what was inside the shipping hub they entered in Luohe City, in the central province of Henan, China on September 22.
There were 5000 animals found dead in boxes and a couple hundred more not much further away. The place, they said, reeked of dead bodies. (2)
“It was like a living hell,” said Utopia founder sister Hua. (1)
Kept in a pile of small cardboard boxes with breathing holes cut out of them, the animals appeared to have died of suffocation, starvation, or thirst. (1)
Some Animals Were Saved
A variety of animals were found including rabbits, cats, dogs, and guinea pigs. (1)
Utopia was able to save around 200 rabbits and 50 cats and dogs. Unfortunately, this equates to not even five percent of the animals left in the depot. (1)
The dead animals were disinfected and buried in a mass grave. (2) Those left alive will be up for adoption once a vet cares for each of them. (1)
Where Did the Animals Come From?
The animals were apparently from a pet-breeding facility and were meant to be shipped across China. Utopia estimates the companies in question left the animals there for a full week without food or water. (1)
Though it is not entirely known why the animals were left there. Utopia assumes that it was a miscommunication in the supply chain in China’s massive mass-breeding industry. (2)
Chinese law does not allow animals to be shipped in regular packaging. Most likely, the 5000 animals found dead were purchased online as pets. The shipping company, Yunda, refused to sign off on the shipment due to a packaging concern. (2)
Staff confirmed that the cardboard box packaging is permissible. In a statement to local media, however, Yunda said they were not aware of what happened at the depot. (2)
Not the Only Rescue
Shortly after the rescue mission, Utopia received a tip about another batch being transported to a nearby village. This 13-hour mission resulted in the rescue of another 1,000 animals, mostly rabbits. Unfortunately, the same number of animals passed away. (1)
Both incidents are of course a violation of animal welfare and also pose a threat to human health.
“Given the COVID-19 pandemic we are facing, it’s so terrifying to have those live animals transported that way, and even ending up dead,” said Hua. “Go for adoption instead of illegal buying and shipping of animals.” (2)
She also says that the Chinese authorities must more strictly enforce the rules surrounding the shipping of live animals. (2)
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