With a large-scale anti-rat campaign launched in China's Foshan City, Guangdong Province this year, poisoned vole meat has ended up being served as a delicacy in the city's restaurants. In response, the city authorities have urgently issued a decree to ban all serving of vole meat in all restaurants in the city. They have stated that not only is the belief that vole meat has high nutritious value incorrect, but that eating meat from poisoned vole can be fatal.
Since last January, a large-scale centralized vole extermination campaign has been underway in over 300,000 acres of farming fields in the suburb of Foshan City. During the same time, advertisements for purchasing voles were seen everywhere. Capitalizing on the abundance of voles being caught, a number of villagers mixed dead voles that had been poisoned with live captured ones and sold them to local restaurants. The price of live voles was ten yuan per jin (500 g) while that of dead voles was five yuan per jin.
Experts have pointed out that the commonly used anti-rat poison chlorophacinone, most likely being used to poison and kill the voles, if taken by humans, can lead to symptoms of gastric hemorrhage, ulcers, and in some cases death.
Ming Pao Daily News recently quoted an official at the Disease Control Section of the Foshan Municipal Center for Disease Control as saying, “Since voles are omnivorous animals, various hazardous chemicals can easily accumulate in their bodies. In addition, during the process of capturing, transporting, slaughtering and processing the voles, the meat can easily be infected with disease agents through bites of blood-sucking insects or contaminated by the blood, fecal or secretions of other voles. Thus, eating vole meal may easily result in the spread of disease.”
Eating vole meat is popular in China's Peal River delta area, as people believe that it is nutritious and can enhance their stamina. Becoming somewhat of a fashion, many restaurants feature vole meat dishes, and often have very good business.
Nutritionists has pointed out that the notion of vole meat having high nutritious value has no scientific basis, and that people should mind what they eat.