Bunny boilers: Sichuan devours 42m kilos of rabbit a year

Bunny boilers: Sichuan devours 42m kilos of rabbit a year

Staff Reporter

2014-05-22

People in Sichuan have a penchant for rabbit meat, consuming 42 million kilograms a year, or an average of two rabbits a person, according to the WCC Daily.

Late on May 17, a group of unusual visitors arrived in Chengdu, the provincial capital. Over 2,000 pure bred French Hycole rabbits are here for breeding. Considered one of the top three rabbit meats in the world, a single male can fetch as much as 4,300 yuan (US$680); a female, US$210.

Local rabbits are meek compared to their French cousins, weighing in at 2,000g and a breeding rate of 35 bunnies a year. The Hycole slams in at 2,500g and 50 bunnies a year. Artificial insemination, in which the male Hycole could provide 1,000 tubes of sperm capable of impregnating 1,000 female rabbits, makes the meat even tastier, according to the report.

The global output of rabbit meat is 200 million kg per year, and 60% of it comes from China. Of that, 70% is consumed in Sichuan, or 42 million kg, said Luo Dong, president of the Rabbit Industry Association of China.

There is a huge variety of cuisine centered around the rabbit in Sichuan and the consumtrion of rabbit meat has had hundreds of years of history in China, especially in the Sichuan town of Zigong. Thanks to a liberal interpretation of the Compendium of Materia Medica, the holy bible of traditional Chinese medicine, eating rabbit has spread to southeastern China, as far as Guangxi. Professional rabbit farms abound, market cooperation is open and contracts ensure a stable supply of rabbit meat

 

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