China takes toads off the menu
A plan to turn one of Australia's most hated pests into a lucrative export has fallen through.
John Burey, from United Game Processors in south-west Queensland, travelled to China last year to talk to company officials about selling cane toads.
The introduced pest is a prized ingredient in Chinese medicine, and is even eaten by people in certain parts of the country.
But Mr Burey says his contacts in China appear to have lost interest.
"The Chinese side has just stopped," he says.
"I don't exactly know the details why, other than to say that the contacts and the people we were working with there have lost interest and said that they're not going to be able to bring these animals into the country."
Although the loss of the new market might seem like trivial, it is a double blow for Mr Burey. He used to sell kangaroo meat to Russia, formerly Australia's largest market for the meat.
Russia stopped purchasing roo meat in 2009 amid hygiene concerns.
Despite attempts to restart the trade Russia's government is standing firm.
Mr Burey says the saws at his abattoir have fallen silent and he is pessimistic about the future.
"Even if the Russian market came back it's still a worrying situation for the industry, because we would be right back there with our neck on the block again," he said.
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I HOPE THIS ENDS WELL.
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