Six expensive cats were confiscated on Monday following a raid at a house in Thailand that belonged to a woman suspected of involvement in drug trafficking.
Police seized the house, the land, a car and the six cats on suspicion of being assets used to launder money. As living assets, the cats, five Scottish folds and one Bengal cat, valued at thousands of dollars, would be entered into a public auction, police said.
The case has stirred debate on social media in Thailand whether confiscated pets should be put up for auctions.
Animal welfare groups have urged authorities to suspend the auction plan and for the cats to be handed over to them so they can find them loving homes.
“Pet shops will be queuing up to buy them, but they shouldn’t have to be commercialized again. They’re pets. They’re living things,” Roger Lohanan, secretary-general of the Thai Animal Guardians Association, told Reuters.
“We should prioritize animal welfare before lining state pockets.”