Saturday, 30 March 2013

China's 'Snake Village' Breeds More Than 3 Million Snakes A Year - via Herp Digest

Business Insider, Megan Willett | Mar. 13, 2013,

According to Reuters, the 160 farming families that live in the Zisiqao village in the Zhejiang Province of China are known for their snakes. They collectively breed over three million snakes annually for food and medicinal purposes. 

Cobras, vipers, and pythons are not only a common sight in the small village, but a way of life:Serpents outnumber the residents 3,000 to one.

It has become quite lucrative for the residents to raise and sell the snakes, with some even earning tens of thousands of dollars for their efforts, according to the BBC. 

It was Yang Hongchang, a 60-year-old farmer, who first introduced snake breeding to the village in 1985. When the wild snakes Hongchang used to catch and sell became scarce, he researched how to raise snakes at home instead. After three years of successful breeding — and a healthy profit — the other villagers began to emulate his methods.

The result is an industry unlike any other in the world, with millions of snakes being raised for food or traditional Chinese medicine that is not only sold in China, but exported to the United States, Germany, Japan, and South Korea as well.

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