Whenever there is a crisis or a natural calamity, there are the people who lose money and then there are the entrepreneurs. It seems enterprising businessmen have decided to cash in on an outbreak of rodents in the Dongting Lake area in Hunan province which saw an estimated 2 billion mice on the run from the flooded Yangtse River by taking the matter into their own hands – literally.
China Daily says trucks full of mice have been seen arriving late at night and sold to a wild animal market in the Baiyun district. The rats have been sold off as “mountain rats” (山鼠) for as much as RMB45 each, and even then demand has outstripped supply everyday. It is perhaps true what they say – the Cantonese will eat anything with four legs apart from the table.
Shanghaiist remembers how rats and civets were hunted and slaughtered during the height of the SARS crisis when he first arrived in China, but with the nightmare now five years behind us, we guess everyone has forgotten what kind of nasty viruses rats can carry with them.
China Daily: Rats back on the menu in southern China
ABC News: Yummy! As Tasty As A Truckload of Chinese Rats
USA Today: Rat: It’s what’s for dinner at some Chinese restaurants
The Telegraph: Rat plague good news for Chinese restaurants
Reuters: Chinese “trucking” live rats to southern restaurants
Video from 56.com