Vietnamese police have discovered the bodies of 2,000 dead cats that were intended for use in traditional medicine.
The dead felines were uncovered at a slaughterhouse in Dong Thap province in the Mekong Delta on Thursday, the state media reported.
The cats, which were believed to be prepared for shipping to northern Vietnam, were placed in cold storage.
Police also found 480 live animals at the same location.
Although the consumption of cats is legal in the country, the slaughterhouse does not have paperwork that details traceability and authorizes the killings.
No arrests have been made in the case so far.
According to animal welfare organization Four Paws International, up to a million cats are estimated to fall victim to the illegal wildlife trade every year in the country.
The traditional medicine industry has become a major driver of the illegal wildlife trade in Asia.
In a 2019 report from nonprofit World Animal Protection, 89% of consumers of traditional Asian medicine in Vietnam believe in unproven products made from tigers and lions, and 84% of those consumers prefer big cat products from animals caught in the wild.
Some believe that the extracts from the bones of cats can help cure conditions such as asthma and osteoporosis.