Volunteers rush to rescue cats in eastern China

Volunteers are rushing to rescue hundreds of cats confiscated from a dealer and released into a mountainous area in eastern China.

The head of the Wuxi City Association for the Protection of Small Animals said about 50 felines have been caught since Nov. 1. Ni Zhijiang said volunteers search the area in the evening after work.

Ni said association members rushed to a highway tollgate on Oct. 29 after receiving a report that a truck was transporting about 1,000 cats, which are eaten as a delicacy in some parts of southern China.

After police determined the trucker lacked the proper permits, officials from the local agricultural commission decided to release the cats despite concerns by volunteers about the environmental impact and hopes of returning them to their owners.