Chinese consume 10 thousand tonnes of snake per year

The Association for the Conservation of Wild Fauna in China has warned that several species of snakes are threatened with extinction due to excessive consumption. The popular belief that snakes have special nutritive and medicinal qualities leads the people of the PR China to consume around 10,000 tonnes of snake meat every year.

China has 209 species of snake, 7% of the world total, 43 of which are on the list of endangered species. Wang Fuxing, the general secretary of the Association, stated that “The traders exaggerate the protein qualities of snake meat, which makes the consumers seek this dish more and more in restaurants”.

The dish is sold as “dragon meat” and it is particularly popular in south-east China. Under Chinese law, the people are allowed to hunt 30% of the local species, but it is impossible to enforce it to the letter, due to the fact that snake hunting is more and more profitable.