6 June 2024

A monk at a temple in Bang Pakong district of Thailand’s eastern province of Chachoengsao was arrested by police yesterday (Wednesday) and charged with animal cruelty after allegedly killing dozens of cats.

The arrest followed a complaint from Rattiya Tiaotrakul, who works for the Watchdog Thailand Foundation, accusing the 23-year-old monk, Phra Porndanai, of posting a message on Facebook asking if anyone needs to find a new home for brown kittens, but later asked for cats of any colour.

Rattiya claimed that she had obtained video clips showing the young monk crushing some cats to death and eating them.

Other monks at the temple, the name of which was withheld, reportedly told the police that Phra Porndanai had a preoccupation with adopting cats from other people, but most of them soon disappeared.

The monks claim that, on one occasion, they saw Porndanai in the act of killing a cat and were shocked by his conduct, adding that the carcasses cats were often burned or buried at night.

Porndanai claims that he killed the cats because they were causing a nuisance. He was defrocked and taken to the Bang Pakong district police station to be charged.

Porntharat, one of the cat donors, said she gave five felines to Porndanai on the condition that he send her pictures of them, to make sure that they were being well treated.

She said that the monk did not keep his promise but, after her persistence, he later claimed that he gave three cats away and kept two others, but still refused to provide her with their pictures.

She added that she was shocked when she learned about the killing of the cats.