Demand for crocodile meat doubles following rise in pork prices
The number of crocodiles slaughtered for meat each month has doubled to 20,000 following the spike in prices for pork. This trend is giving hope to crocodile farmers who have lost business due to the pandemic, said Yosapong Temsiripong, president of the Thai Crocodile Farmer Association. Due to the massive drop in tourism, he said, farmers have been much less able to sell crocodile skins.
Yosapong says that whether or not this rate will last depends on whether or not people who try crocodile meat enjoy it. He said, however, that there is hope this is possible, as crocodile meat is protein-rich and can be used in a number of recipes, but is cheaper than chicken and pork.
One crocodile farm made a post on Facebook last week offering the reptile meat at 70 baht per kilogram, but less than pork which has been around 200 baht per kilogram. The farm said the crocodile meat tastes similar to chicken, adding that it’s rich in protein and “very healthy.”
Thai authorities initially shot back claims that the nation’s pork shortage is due to an outbreak of African swine fever. But one case of the disease was detected this month at a slaughterhouse in Nakhon Pathom, the Bangkok Post reports, citing Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development. Authorities have been telling the public not to panic, as the viral disease, while highly contagious and deadly for swine, cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.
Some accuse the Thai government of covering up an outbreak of African swine fever, causing an extreme shortage of pork. Prices of pork have skyrocketed, leading street vendors to either up their prices for pork dishes or to stop serving pork altogether. The government even imposed a three-month ban on live pig exports to help control the price of pork. And now, crocodile meat
Source: Thai PBS
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