Feline Rabies

Dog Meat on the Table and Cat Meat in the Cage - Vietnam - by `◄ccdoh1►

Dog Meat on the Table and Cat Meat in the Cage - Vietnam - by `◄ccdoh1►

Feline rabies may be the savior of the feral cat in Asia at least in respect of the cat meat and fur market, although I doubt it. There will still be cat fur produced under hideous circumstances in China but a recent report coming out of PLOS Medicine, indicates that if Asians are to eat cat meat (and this website says eating cat meat is common in Asia) they have to ensure that the cat is vaccinated! And I doubt whether very many cats (perhaps 5% of them) are vaccinated for anything in large areas of Asia (wrong?, please tell me).

This story concerns 2 Vietnamese men, one killed a cat and the other a dog. Both ate the brains of these animals. The dog had been killed by a vehicle. I will talk about the cat and the man who ate it. The man was a 37 year old farmer. He went to a hospital outpatients department in Hanoi after contracting symptoms of furious rabies although at the time it was uncertain what was wrong. There are three forms or rabies. See Cat Rabies (the linked post describes the symptoms of the two major types).

Importantly and conclusively, this man had one symptom that is specific to rabies (to be more accurate "specific for encephalitic rabies and is considered pathognomonic for this disease") and this is hydrophobia, a fear of water, that showed as hydrophobic spasms. He had caught rabies. But how? All forms of rabies lead to death. He died the day after admission to hospital having been taken home by his family, a quick death.

How did he get rabies? The farmer admitted that three weeks before he was admitted to hospital for tests, he had killed and eaten and cat (I presume a feral cat) that he said had been sick for three days. The cat had shown typical signs of illness (for a cat) in being still, hiding away in a corner and occasionally meowing. He killed the cat by "battering it" (nice). I am not knocking the culture but to be able to batter an innocent cat to death like that shows a completely different culture to what is expected in England. In fact it would be a crime here under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. That is how disparate and dysfunctional the world is, frankly.

Anyway, he then singed the hair off the cat and opened the skull and mashed up the cat's brains with his hands in preparing a Vietnamese dish called, "rua man". The rest of the cat was eaten by others (they had no health problems). The brain was cooked. They had eaten a cat that had feline rabies. The experts say that it was unlikely that he caught rabies in eating the brains of the cat. It was likely to have happened in mashing up the brain with his hands if he had an abrasion on his hands. This is one possibility.

What kind of impact does feline rabies have on the practice of eating cat meat and dog meat in Asia? Well, even if I was a Vietnamese and was used to battering cats to death in the street and eating them, I would stop!! Rabies, as can be seen from the very quick death of the farmer, is a very scary disease with no cure. All the doctors do is tranquillize you and/or medically comatose you before death.

Maybe this could be a turning point in what I consider the brutal cat meat market. How about cat fur and dog fur? You could certainly get feline rabies I would have thought from preparing cat fur as they do this is a most brutal manner, skinning the animal alive or almost alive (see Downing Street Petition). Plenty of blood and plenty of grazed hands for transmission to take place. The experts say that it is a risk (and a very big one, I would have thought) to butcher cats and dogs that are not vaccinated.

Feline Rabies to Cat Health Problems

Feline Rabies - Source: - great source

Feline Rabies - Photo of dog meat and a caged cat (future cat meat) in Vietnam by `◄ccdoh1► and published under creative commons:


Feline Rabies — 3 Comments

  1. Michael you have written this article in 2012 and i did visit Vietnam and Cambodia in December 2014. Got a first hand experience of the exotic food eaten by some of the locals but didn’t come across “Cat Meat” or “Dog Meat” being served in any of the street side take-away shops. I did come across this wine & Liquor shop that sold bottled snake wine. A cat was tied with a string in this shop akin to a dog and i hope it was not meant to be a future “Cat Meal” akin to a tethered chicken.
    Posted a photo of the tethered cat.

    • Rudolph, Thanks for that extra information. I’m pleased that you did not come across cat meat served at restaurants. One gets the impression that it is routinely served at restaurants. It’s great that you are able to provide first-hand information on this subject. Many thanks. I don’t like to see a cat tied up. Perhaps it was a temporary arrangement. I hope so.

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