1 ton of dogs, cats seized before reaching northern Vietnam restaurants

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Police check boxes of dead dogs and cats seized in a car January 12, 2016. Photo: Quynh An/Zing Police check boxes of dead dogs and cats seized in a car January 12, 2016. Photo: Quynh An/Zing

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Authorities in central Vietnam on Tuesday seized a bus carrying more than one ton of dead dogs and cats and animal innards, allegedly to restaurants in the north.
Police in Thanh Hoa Province stopped the car at 3 a.m. and found ten boxes with a very strong, unpleasant smell. Each box carried five or six dogs and cats. 
Driver Ho Van Lan, 28, said he was paid to drive the boxes from Da Nang to restaurants in Thai Binh Province, southeast of Hanoi.
Animal rights groups have condemned cat and dog meat trade in several Asian countries, including China and Vietnam, where the demand has fueled the stealing or torturing of families' pets.
Vietnam is believed to be the second biggest dog meat consumer in the world after China, with an estimated five million dogs killed and eaten every year.
The country’s biggest markets for cat meat are in Thai Binh and Nam Dinh Province, where the meat is still considered by some as a delicacy and served at festive occasions like wedding parties. Dog meat is eaten almost across the country, especially by drinkers.
A year ago, a huge cat smuggling case shocked the nation as well as international media as police in Hanoi stopped a truck carrying three tons of cats, all alive, from China.
The cats, which were to be sold to restaurants in northern Vietnam, were all culled later as undocumented goods.

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