Animal rights activists are demanding action following reports about people skinning and cooking black cats for preparing "coronavirus cure" in Vietnam. Some people reportedly were making a paste with the meat to treat COVID-19.

The practice is centered in Vietnam's capital Hanoi, but bottles of the “remedy” are also being sold online in order, No To Dog Meat, a charitable organization, alleged.

Campaigners from the organization have released graphic footages that showed rows of dead cats being dried in the sun after being slaughtered. Another video showed a live cat being placed in a cooking pot while boiling water being poured over it. No To Dog Meat founder Julia de Cadenet said she cringed to see the gruesome maltreatment of the felines. She said notwithstanding how terrified people around the world are of COVID-19, it doesn’t still justify the “horrific cruelty” that the defenseless animals are being subjected to.

“There is no evidence whatsoever that eating cats cures coronavirus, and even if there was, this inhumane treatment is a level of cruelty that is unacceptable even for those who eat meat,” she said. "In China when the virus first broke rumors flew around that pets could spread the disease, this led to many people and the authorities rounding up animals and killing them.”

It may be noted that reports about the black cat "coronavirus cure" emerged at a time when many Chinese cities were banning the consumption of cat and dog meats. Chinese city Shenzhen, taking account of the deadly pandemic situation, prohibited the consumption and trade of dog and cat meats in the first week of April, becoming the first city in the country to do so.

However, some doctors in Vietnam are reportedly championing dog and cat meat as a cure for the coronavirus. The Sun reported, citing an animal charity Four Paws, that not only have the sales of the meats risen, they have also been made available on food delivery apps.

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Black Cat Reuters