Categories: animal abuse

5000 cats, dogs and other animals die in shipping boxes

There will be no pictures (there are pictures but I won’t publish them) and before I started writing this I counted to ten, quietly screamed to myself, punched an imaginary punchbag and swore at the people who did it (loudly). It’s enough to make you scream. It’s enough to make you weep in despair at the abject cruelty that humankind can and will degenerate to when they don’t care, and they don’t care sometimes about animal welfare.

I’m not going to dwell for long on this story because it is too horrible. Suffice to say that 5,000 cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals were found dead in cardboard shipping boxes in, Luohe, China.


The animals were shipped from a breeding farm using cardboard shipping boxes. They were loaded onto lorries and transported to a logistic station on 17 September. They were then dropped off at another logistic station with some dying en route. The majority died on September 22.

An animal rescue group rushed to the station because it had been tipped off. They managed to save about 50 cats and dogs and 200 rabbits. They said that the boxes were cluttering the logistic station and that lots of animals inside had died of thirst, starvation and suffocation.

It was a living hell they said. It was clear that the animals had died of suffocation and starvation. Apparently it is illegal to ship live animals in regular packaging in China but this appears to have been a breach of that law. They were sold online and delivery had been delayed because the company doing the shipping had refused to take them because of the law. There was some miscommunication and there are inconsistencies in complying with China’s shipping regulations.

The animals had been sent via “express delivery company Yunda Express”. The boxes had holes in them but the rescue people say that they died of suffocation and starvation. Perhaps the boxes were (1) too small, (2) stacked too high and (3) too tightly so that they had no air. They might have been in transport for five days.

Unsurprisingly, this particular law is unenforced and a lawyer in China, Zhang Bo, said that it was easy for businesses to bypass the law despite the fact that they were introduced in 1990. The laws are well established but there are apparently little or no sanctions for breach of this animal welfare law. Therefore the perpetrators cannot be punished I’m told. Can you believe that? Does it surprise you? Are you shocked and sickened by this? I am. There should be international outrage. If it had happened in the US there would be deep shock. But in China animal cruelty of this nature happens all too often.


Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • Just awful Michael. We humans just don't seem to be able to get things right. Why would someone be shipping that volume of animals in boxes at all???? What do people think with?

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