WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT: A security guard has caused outrage across China after he poured boiling water over a pregnant cat, resulting in the death of the cat and her four unborn kittens.
The man allegedly attacked the cat in the Chinese city of Taiyuan in Shanxi province, on Monday night after it scratched him, Chinese publication The Paper reported.
Video after the incident shows the security guard had placed the badly injured cat in a cage before it was rescued and taken to a vet.
The cat’s four unborn kittens were delivered by caesarean, but were deceased.
On Wednesday, despite the best efforts of emergency vets, the cat succumbed to its injuries. Her death was confirmed by the Taiyuan Small Animal Rescue Association.
“We are very angry,” the association’s president said.
The man’s employee, Taiyuan Security Service Co, has since confirmed he has been dismissed from his role.
The company has made a 5,000 yuan ($1,050) payments for the cat’s treatment however the Taiyuan Small Animal Rescue Association was seeking further compensation.
Offender likely to escape punishment
The man has since been questioned by police, state broadcaster CCTV reported, however legal experts say the man is unlikely to face significant punishment due to the nation’s lenient animal cruelty legislation.
The incident has prompted widespread anger after trending on Chinese Twitter-like site Weibo, with many calling for the government to tighten animal abuse laws.
“Too many people are taking advantage of the loopholes, please introduce animal protection laws as soon as possible,” one person said.
“This kind of person should be given a severe punishment,” another wrote.
Others labelled the man’s behaviour as “wicked” and “perverted”.
The Chinese public’s attitude towards animal cruelty has shifted in recent years, with younger generations increasingly advocating the end of animal abuse.
Notably the consumption of dog meat in China has faced enhanced resistance, with a surge in Chinese people now keeping dogs as pets.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.