Plague of Rats Caused by Human Consumption of Snakes

July 19, 2007 Updated: July 19, 2007

It's reported that residents of Changsha City, Hunan Province, China, consume 3,000 kilograms of wild snakes daily. This is viewed as one of the major reasons for the plague of rodents around Dongting Lake and other areas.

According to the China TV station report, in Hunan Province the rats have traditionally been kept in check by their natural enemies; snakes, cats and hawks. However, cats are not catching the rats because the farm rats normally live along the shorelines of the in-land lakes. As for the hawks, though seen frequently in years past, they are now seldom seen around the lakes.

Furthermore, because many people have started to eat snakes, the snakes have now become rare in the Dongting Lake area. As a result, rat populations have continued to increase around the lake areas, becoming the ecological overlord.

Reports state that according to the “Sanxiang City Express,” there are snake cages along the entire length of West Chang Street, which is the largest seafood wholesale market in Changsha City, Hunan Province. In less than a 50 meter radius, there are as many as 17 shops that sell snakes.

Shop owners claim that all the snakes for sale are wild snakes, and it does not violate any laws to eat these snakes.

According to Hunan Province Wildlife Protection Association statistics, Changsha City is the largest consumer of snakes.

The recent floods in Human Province have caused the level of Dongting Lake to rise. As a result, as many as two billion rats have “relocated” away from the lake. This has brought about the rodent “terror.” Experts are greatly concerned that the rats will spread disease, causing severe damage to the riverbanks and crops.

Many Chinese Internet surfers have discussed various solutions recently. One suggestion was to eat the rats!