Smuggling ring caught with 10,000 snakes

Jan 20 2012 - 11:37am

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Wildlife smuggling is endemic in Asia, where exotic species are used for food and traditional medicine.
Wildlife smuggling is endemic in Asia, where exotic species are used for food and traditional medicine.

YANGON, Myanmar -- Forestry officials in central Myanmar have seized nearly 10,000 snakes in 400 crates that were to be smuggled to China.

The weekly journal Modern reported Friday that 50 cobras were among the 9,176 snakes seized in Pyin Oo Lwin district near Mandalay on Jan. 12.

Wildlife smuggling is endemic in Asia, where exotic species are used for food and traditional medicine.

The report did not say how many people were arrested but said those involved would be charged under the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas law, which carries a five-year prison sentence.

It said the 7,000 non-poisonous snakes were released into a wildlife reserve, while the vipers and cobras were sent to the state pharmaceutical company for their venom.

 

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