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Over 5,000 animals found dead after being left for days in China shipping facility

Over 5,000 animals found dead after being left for days in China shipping facility
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Thousands of animals were found dead after an accident at a shipping depot in China this week, according to CBS News.

The incident may have been the result of a miscommunication in the supply chain within the country's blackmarket breeding industry. Local authorities said they were investigating the incident, which took place in the country's Henan Province. 

"The station was cluttered with express boxes with thousands of animals that had already died, and the entire place reeks of rotting bodies," Sister Hua, the founder of an animal rescue group Utopia told CBS. "It was like a living hell." 

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Hua said it was likely the animals died of suffocation or starvation after being left in their crates for several days. 

"Miscommunication inside the shipping company and the inconsistency of the implementation of shipping regulations directly led to the tragedy," she said. "Of course, both buyers and sellers bear the responsibility, too."

Local volunteers were able to rescue a few hundred animals from the depot, but more than 5,000 of the animals are assumed dead. 

Chinese law prohibits the large-scale shipping of animals in normal packaging, CBS reported.