Lee, C. (2004, January 21). SARS Bites Deep Into Hong Kong Snake Restaurants. Reuters. [Online]. Available: http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/23518/newsDate/21-Jan-2004/story.htm [2004, January 21].
snakes; bushmeat; China; SARS; restaurants; business; diseases
Opposite a writhing mass of snakes in a glass tank, Kam Oi-ho stirred a steaming pot of snake soup and filled a bowl for his first customer of the day.
Chinese people think eating snakes is good for you, especially in winter when the meat is believed to keep you warm. But not this year.
"Our business has plunged 70 to 80 percent since the SARS outbreak last year," Kam said, as he looked around his near empty stall, which also sports bottles of wine containing snakes and their innards.
"The recent scare in Guangzhou has slashed business by another 40 percent in the past few weeks," he said.
China has confirmed three new cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in recent weeks in the southern province of Guangdong, where the disease first emerged in late 2002 before spreading to more than 30 countries.
The virus eventually infected about 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 of them, including 299 in Hong Kong.
Snake lovers used to have their fill in small...