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June 25, 2017

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Animal rights activists highlight cruelty cases

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Cats with folded ears are all the rage, somehow made cuter by their aural anomaly; however, animal rights activists are informing the public to refrain from feeding this trend and in turn, the animal breeding business that "designs" the specific breed, especially as the folded feature is symptomatic of feline's illness and disease.

The protests against the commercial breeding of domestic pets yesterday entered into its second day, continuing in the form of public fasts.

On Wednesday, images of animal rights advocate Huang Tai-shan — who was fasting for the cause for four consecutive days — locking himself in a cage in front of the Shilin MRT Station quickly permeated the Internet, attracting over 10,000 supporters by Thursday night.

One such proponent is an erstwhile cat-owner surnamed Liu, who joined the cause. Liu specifically wanted to bring awareness to the recent trend of owning felines with folded ears.

As the owner of one such cat herself, Liu said her pet "Neko" died after a mere 15 months — and endured excruciating physical pain its whole life.

The cats are adorable, but what people don't know is that the folded ears are symptoms of disease or illness, Liu said, adding that because of their popularity, animal breeders are churning them out without thinking about the animal's wellbeing.

Using Neko as an example, Liu described these cats' often short lives as rife with physical ailments such as abnormal development, breathing and having a chronically weak immune system.

Her cat died shortly after a visit to a veterinary hospital, succumbing to its severely swollen liver and pancreas.

According to Liu, fellow owners of such cats described pets with bloody noses and limbs so weak they could not walk.

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