BANGKOK, THAILAND – NEWS AND VIEWS: Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) have seized and are auctioning off 6 purebred cats that they currently consider to be the proceeds of crime. They are 5 Scottish Folds and 1 Bengal. They say that if it can be proved that they were not bought with the proceeds of crime – drug dealing – they will hand the cats over to the cat owner’s relatives provided they come forward (unlikely!).
There are calls by Thai animal welfare organisations including The Voice Foundation and the Thai Animal Guardians Association to halt the auction. They have offered to look after the cats. The ONCB said that can’t hand them over because they don’t own them.
The 6 cats were discovered at the property of the man suspected of belonging to a drug dealing network controlled, according to the Bangkok Post, by Kook Rayong.
Thai law gives law enforcement agencies the right to confiscate assets acquired through the proceeds of crime. The cats can’t be kept in the long term because it is simply impractical and there are overheads such as providing food and they lack the facilities. No doubt the ONCB don’t have the facilities to care for these cats. The sooner they get them rehomed into suitable accommodation the better.
The picture on this page indicates that the cats are being kept in small cages. This is unsuitable except for short periods. Why aren’t the cats housed at one of the two mentioned rescue organisations, at least temporarily? The rescue centers could also deal with rehoming using their tried and tested procedures.
They’ve decided to value them and set up an auction. No relatives of the owner have come forward to claim them. The auction will take place before April 14th.
P.S. The cat in the photo has neither the appearance of a Scottish Fold (the ears are not flat to the head) nor a Bengal. Perhaps the cat is a not-to-type Scottish Fold as some Folds do not have flattened ears due the need when breeding to avoid debilitating spinal defects. This may be a file photo but I think not.