CLASSIC HOAXES: The Swiss Eating Cats Prank

The hoax is this: Around 240,000 Swiss, or 3 percent of the population, are eating cat and dog meat on the sly. So far, no one has empirically proven anything, so it is safe to say that it is probably false.

Well, just in case you are someone who is okay about eating cat and dog meat, it should be noted that there is still not enough evidence to prove that a quarter million of Switzerland’s population is really into this type of activity. It is simply not possible that so many people could practice it without having any single photo or document to prove its veracity. Very few people may actually be doing it, although it would most probably be an old custom or they may be doing it out of necessity.

Fortunately, this appears to be another one of those weird hoaxes and a couple of Swiss government authorities have already refuted it.

The rumors began circulating when a Swiss animal rights group called ‘SOS Chats Noiraigue’ appealed to their national government about the alleged practice of eating cat and dog meat as a traditional supper during the holidays.


The group’s allegation received huge media coverage as it was featured in such distinguished media institutions like the London Times, the Washington Post, BBC, and Newsweek. This added to the realistic execution of this prank. Up until now, no one could tell how the people behind this gag had managed to obtain the services of these respected media outlets without exposing their true colors.

The articles found in these news websites even have quotes from SOS Chats Noiraigue’s president and founder Tomi Tomek, which added credibility to one of the most deceptive pranks in recent memory. Tomek claimed in media interviews that “around three percent of the Swiss secretly eat cat or dog (meat).”

Tomek also said that pets or domestic animals should be considered as a member of the family and should not be eaten. She pointed out a Swiss traditional custom of cooking cat stew every Christmas evening.


While it is accurate that eating cat and dog meat during the holidays was really an old custom in Switzerland, and 240,000 is really around three percent of the entire population of the country, the claim about the contemporary munching was clearly not. The ritual had actually stopped many years ago.

Another report being spread on the internet was saying that the wife of a Swiss Ambassador had explained to them the reason why a quarter of a million of their people had resorted to eating cat and dog meat. The “Ambassador’s wife” had claimed that it is because of poverty and the high cost of meat in the country. This report went out to the public and had prompted the Swiss Ambassador to New Zealand, Dr. David Vogelsanger, to issue his own statement regarding the matter.


Dr. Vogelsanger in fact wrote a letter to the editor of the London Times to disprove the report and validate it as a hoax. He vented that the story is only a creation of animal rights activists that was erroneously picked up by the media. He confirmed that eating and trading cat and dog meat is indeed illegal in his country.

He then mentioned that the Swiss people actually love their pets and that they would never go to such an extent just to put meat on their tables. He ended his letter by saying that he had checked and verified that this practice does not exist in Switzerland.

A reporter from named Helena Horton wrote that she contacted SOS Chats Noiraigue to ask about the claims of their founder. Horton disclosed that the organization could not answer where or how they got the facts and figures from. She also found out that official government statistics confirmed that only a small portion (much lower than 3%) of the population eats meat that is not beef, pork, sheep, goats, rabbits, and poultry.

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