For the first time, a Chinese province has exported live snakes to Japan, thepaper.cn reported.
The 200 kilograms of short-tailed mamushi, valued at 4 million, left Jiaxing, China's Southeast Zhejiang Province on Friday after passing quarantine inspections, according to Zhejiang Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
Found in East Asia, the short-tailed mamushi is a venomous pit viper that is not only a delicacy but is highly valued for its medicinal use.
The snake is often featured in traditional Chinese cough syrups.
Japan imposes strict requirements on the import of live snakes, making the shipment a challenge for the bureau, employees said.
The exporter, Jiaxing Zhongshan Snake Industry Co, said the bureau was instrumental in facilitating the deal.
"We've got 300,000 snakes, and business has been better year after year," said Shen Yongchun, the company's general manager, who claims to export 7 million yuan in snakes annually.
"With help from bureau's specialized staff we're more capable of going global," said Shen.