Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Snake village


09:50, February 07, 2013

Zisiqiao, a once impoverished village in Zhejiang province where people used to fish to make a living, has now become the number one snake-breeding industry town in China. A step into the homes of any of the farming families here brings visitors eye-to-eye with thousands of some of the world's most feared creatures -snakes, many of them poisonous.

Villagers began to raise snakes in the 1970s, to processes snake bile, venom, skin, slough, oil and whip as herbal medicines to be sold in Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangxi and many other major markets for Chinese medicine and dozens of pharmaceutical companies. They are favored by consumers because of the quality of the material and the village has become the country's largest snake breeding trade center.

Yang Hongchang, village leader who pioneered the enterprise of snake breeding thirty years ago and founded snake therapy, has been titled "King of Snake". Unlike the symbol of evil in the West, snakes in Yang's eyes are precious from head to tail and are like a natural medicine warehouse.

Yang suffered arthritis in his early years and none of the hospitals could cure the problem until a rheumatologist told him to eat snakes. After he became well again, he devoted himself to the snake industry and hoped to use his experience to help more people.

In 1985, Yang started selling snakes he caught in the area to animal vendors. He soon began to worry he would run out of wild snakes and began researching on how to breed snakes at home.

Three years later, Yang successfully developed a dinodon rufozonatum, or red-banded snake through artificial incubation technology with a high survival rate and the formation of a complete set of artificial breeding, hatching, processing procedures and promoted it to the whole village. The technology is still leading the field in snake breeding.

Yang started his own snake company in the village in the 1990s. Today, more than three million snakes are bred in the village every year by 800 farmers. "Our original breeding method has been approved and recognized by the province and the county. They see us as the corporation working with the farming families. So the company researches on the snakes and they hand them over to the farms for breeding," Yang said.

Yang also built a snake museum, aiming to spread snake knowledge and its medicinal value to the public and to conduct snake collection, protection, research, exhibition, treatment and services for aquaculture training.

As the Year of the Snake approaches, Zisiqiao, the snake town of China is set to see a rise in its profits as the demand for the serpent soars.

We Recommend:

Amazing China in 1950s you’ve never seen

People on way home during festival travel rush

A visit to the village of lepers in Yunnan

Beijing fantasy emerges in dense fog

The art of food, the art of life

How much should we pay for family reunion?

China's weekly story (2013.01.21-01.27)

Time to stop appalling food waste

Uncover the myth of 'devil training'

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangXin、Chen Lidan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Chinese navy conducts landing training

  2. Winter training on snow-capped mountains

  3. Imitation of Russian Empress' crown unveiled

  4. 12 killed in SW China road accident

  5. Moments that melt your heart

  6. China's transport sees travel rush

  7. Wu Mochou: Maverick musician

  8. 'Little Psy' wants to be more famous

  9. Robot pavilion opens to public at Taipei

  10. China's income distribution reform

Most Popular


  1. Aiming at fairer realty market
  2. Dark business environment breeds dark deeds
  3. Israel-Palestine peace talks dominate Obama's visit
  4. Cowardly officials behind thuggish pawns
  5. Free-pass policy faces New Year migration test
  6. Safety on the roads
  7. Hukou and properties
  8. China, Japan need dialogue for peace
  9. Hukou system denies right to 'die equal'
  10. The ungainly dance of Shinzo Abe

What’s happening in China

Moments that melt your heart during the Spring Festival travel rush

  1. 16 sentenced over Jiangsu protests
  2. Traditional red envelopes get a personal touch
  3. Guiding travelers a labor of love
  4. State firm's head sacked over luxury banquet
  5. State firms downsizing dinners