Many Asian countries are consuming rat meat as a less expensive and more plentiful alternative to pork. Cambodia villagers who gather the rodents have developed an extensive trade of rat meat with their neighboring Vietnamese, reports China Daily.
This Reuters video explains the rat trade:
Vietnam has become the main importer of Cambodia's rats with 50 tons of rats being imported through the checkpoints along the border everyday, local media reported on Friday.
"We are working in the rice fields during the day and catching the rat at night. We can catch about 10 kg to 20 kg rats every night, " the Chinese language newspaper Cambodia Sin Chew Daily quoted a young rat trader as saying. The rat traders could sell them at border for about 3,000 riel (about 75 cents) to 4,000 riel (about $1.00) per kilo.
Reuters reports on the booming business for consumers and exporters in Cambodia and Vietnam as heavy rainfalls and the swine flu epidemic have spurred supply and demand for the rat meat:
The rains in the Mekong Delta area have helped boost the Cambodian trappers' catch, as more rats rush out from their flooded holes and into waiting cages.
"There were so many rodents we just can't eat them all, so we need to export lots more to Vietnam," Cambodian rat trader Kang Chanthan told Reuters. "It's good business."