Coast guard intercepts cat smugglers off south Taiwan coast

The coast guard intercepted a fishing boat off the coast of Tainan City, Thursday, and found around 200 cats hidden on board the vessel.

Kaohsiung Coast Guard Investigation Branch had been monitoring the vessel “Shun” via radar after it left Badouzi Fishing Port in northern Taiwan August 14 and found that the Shun made contact with a Chinese fishing boat off the Penghu Islands.

The coast guard intercepted the boat around 8 nautical miles off the coast of Tainan City, Thursday, August 19, and escorted it back to the Port of Kaohsiung. After the captain and crew were PCR tested for Covid-19, officers boarded the vessel yesterday, August 20.

Inside a hidden compartment, the officers found close to 200 cats of various breeds in 62 cages. The breeds included Russian blue, ragdoll, Persian, American shorthair, and British shorthair cats. The cats are estimated to have a market value of around NT$10 million.

The captain of the boat was sent to the District Prosecutor to face charges of smuggling and offences related to the prevention and control of animal infectious diseases.

The cats were euthanized in the afternoon of Saturday, August 21.

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