Planet China

Grim feast

Tiger

What do you do when you need to impress a business associate and you realise that top-class karaoke and the finest seafood won’t cut it?

In Guangdong, the answer is to invite them to a tiger slaughter. Known as “visual feasts” or “eye openers”, caged tigers are slaughtered as businessmen watch. For an extra fee they can then eat the meat or purchase the bones from the dead animal’s carcass.

The grim practice is back in the news this week after police in the city of Zhanjiang broke up a tiger trafficking ring which is known to have killed at least 10 cats. The police said a man surnamed Huang – who butchered the animals after they were killed – threw himself off a building during the raid and died.

Tiger meat apparently sell for Rmb1,000 ($161.14) a kilo (alcohol is also made from body parts), while the cat’s bones sell for Rmb14,000 a kilo. “I know this sounds expensive, but they’re in good demand, and there are buyers even before the tiger is killed,” the Nanfang Daily quoted a local person as saying.

The two men who ran the tiger ring were arrested for the same crime in 2007, police said. Incidentally, they also run a seafood restaurant and a karaoke bar.


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