China Bans Snakebit Chicken Dish

Video of cruel practice sparks outrage, ban

By Emily Feldman
|  Monday, Jun 1, 2009  |  Updated 3:30 PM CDT
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China Bans Snakebit Chicken Dish

Getty Images

These guys will no longer be used to kill chickens in China's food establishments.

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Chicken with snake venom is off the menu in China

As weird as it sounds, the poisoned poultry is a popular dish in parts of China, known for its "detoxifying" effect. But a video that raised awareness of the bizarre slaughtering techhnique prompted Chinese authorities to crack down on restaurants serving snake-bitten chicken.

The widely viewed video, posted on a Chinese website last week, shows a man crouched on kitchen floor forcing a snake to sink its fangs into a struggling chicken. The dish is popular in some parts of Guangdong and Chonqing, according to Reuters.

The video spawned an outpouring of criticism in the Chinese media and blogosphere leading health officials to step in. 

"Although nobody has been poisoned, this at the very least is an irregular way of slaughtering poultry," a Chinese health official told the Chongqing Business Daily.

Authorities have already told food-establishments to cut out the practice that opponents have called cruel, blood-thirsty and disgusting. 

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