S.Korea cracks down on snake soup restaurants

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Indy Lifestyle Online

South Korea will crack down on restaurants that serve snake soup as a popular summer dish, an official said Tuesday.

"A nationwide crackdown against restaurants selling snake meat or soup will be carried out between June 16 to July 15," Son Sam-Gi, deputy director of the environment ministry, told AFP.

Poaching or smuggling snakes is illegal and punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year or a maximum fine of five million won (4,090 dollars).

However, the consumption of snake soup soars in the summer because of a widespread belief that the dish is cooling and enhances virility.

"Occasionally, some celebrities and sports players were reported bragging about their consumption of virility-boosting food like snakes, but they should know it's all illegal," a ministry official told Yonhap news agency.