Samut Prakan raid snares reptile meat

SAMUT PRAKAN – Wildlife protection officials raided an illegal reptile slaughterhouse yesterday, seizing 300 kilograms of dried snake meat and a number of live baby crocodiles, turtles and pythons.

Officials were tipped off by neighbours who were fed up with the smell of meat and skins being cured in the sun at the slaughterhouse, said Thanit Palasuwan, who led the raid on a house in Samut Prakan.

Four people were arrested and face up to four years in prison and a Bt40,000 fine for trading in protected species.

The reptile meat would probably have been sold in Chinatown, where dried snake meat fetches Bt200 per kilogram, Thanit said. Snake meat is considered a delicacy in many Asian countries.

Officials spent one week planning the raid. They also seized 29 dead monitor lizards.

Thanit said the wildlife protection department makes raids virtually every week on such establishments around Bangkok, which is a regional centre for the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products.

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