An animal lover who claims to look after stray cats at home has been caught butchering the felines before selling them to restaurants, according to Chinese media.
Sickening images have emerged showing dozens of cats killed, frozen and even decapitated at the man’s tiny warehouse in Chengdu, south-west China.
An undercover investigation carried out by the local Chengdu Business Daily revealed that the man, named Huang Fuping, sold the dead cats as rabbits to meat vendors in rural China for 20 yuan per kilogram (£2.3).
According to Ms Chen, the founder of Chengdu Aizhijia Animal Rescue Centre, the Chengdu authorities closed down Huang’s illegal cat slaughterhouse on November 23 after receiving information provided by volunteers from the rescue centre.
Ms Chen wrote on her social media account on Weibo on November 28: ‘November 23 was the day to remember, and the day [for us] to feel pain and hate.
‘After receiving information, relevant departments teamed up to enforce law on the cat slaughterhouse which had been running for 30 years.
‘Volunteers from the Aizhijia assisted the relevant departments to close down the persistent and cruel cat slaughterhouse.’
Ms Chen also said in her post that the authorities seized nearly two tons of feline carcasses. In addition, 49 live cats were rescued.
The animal activist also said that the owner of the slaughterhouse had sold 13 tons of cat meat on the same day before the authorities arrived.
Along with the post, disturbing pictures show piles of feline carcasses stacking up in the warehouse. For the live cats, they were crammed into small cages in the grotty building.
Chengdu Business Daily, the local newspaper, had carried out an undercover investigation to track down the owner of the cat slaughterhouse.
The owner, Huang Fuping, was known to be an animal lover by his neighbours, said the report.
The man had claimed to devote himself to rescuing stray cats and raising them in a 50-square-metre (538 square feet) luxurious home belonging to him.
He had claimed to put the cats in rooms with 24-hour air-conditioning.
However, the reality proved to be a far cry.
With the help of local animal lovers, reporters from Chengdu Business Daily discovered that Huang, a self-proclaimed animal lover, had been selling cat meat in secret.
An investigation carried out by the newspaper in September revealed that Huang kept stray cats in a 10-square-metre (108 square feet) warehouse in Banzhuyuan town, Xindu District, Chengdu.
The live animals were kept in small cages no taller than 20 centimetres (7.8 inches), the report claimed.
In his tiny warehouse, Huang had around 100 cats cruelly killed every day – they were first drowned then skinned.
Then he would sell them to meat wholesalers coming from southern China, such as Guangxi Province, where the barbaric annual Yulin dog meat festival is held.
Huang’s cats were usually sold for 20 yuan per kilogram (£2.3) or 28-32 yuan (£3.2-£3.7) per cat, as the investigation revealed, and the restaurants would then re-sell the meat to customers as rabbit or wild animal meat.