Sunday, August 28, 2011

Snake Venom Smugglers

Stories in the Malaysia National News Agency, Bernama.Com and the Deccan Chronicle are reporting snake venom smugglers are apparently extracting venom glands from snakes and leaving the snakes to die. Wildlife officials suggest the activity is done in remote areas by well organized syndicates. Illegal venom smuggling surfaced in Kerala and Orissa this week. The venom is used not only in the production of antivenom, but also as an aphrodisiac and is sold to snake charmers. Kedar Swain, a Balasore Forest Division officer, has a team who arrested five smugglers and seized 48 venomous snakes last week. The suspects were trying to sell the venom in Kasargod in the northern tip of Kerala. The suspectes were said to have had vipers, cobras, and a liter of venom.

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