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Eating Mice Won't Stop Plague
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Cooking and eating field mice won't stop the rodents from continuing to cause havoc in central China's Hunan Province, health officials warned on Thursday.

The warning came against some netizens' latest joking advice that field mice be caught and sent to southern Guangdong Province where mice dishes are popular delicacies on every day's dining table.

Following the recent flooding caused by lingering heavy rains along the Yangtze River, nearly 2 billion field mice were forced to migrate to surrounding areas around the Dongting Lake in Hunan province. These invaders were reported to have occupied 20 counties and have so far devoured around 1.6 million hectares of farm land, prompting many residents to fight them with clubs and shovels.

A health official from Guangzhou condemned the irresponsible online mice-recipe postings. The official said the capital of Guangdong Province had banned all kinds of rat and mice dishes and related food products since SARS, the epidemic which first out-broke in Guangdong in November 2002 and spread around the world in 2003.

The official also warns the public must take care since field mice might carry viruses, and there is no scientific evidence eating the animals are good for one's health.

(CRI July 13, 2007)

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