Update: North Koreans eating huge rabbits

London Times (Hat tip DPRK Studies)
Kim jong Il ate my rabbits for his birthday
David Crossland

Karl Szmolinsky sold the rabbits to Pyongyang so that they could be used to set up a breeding programme to boost meat production in the Hermit Kingdom.

The 68-year-old breeder had been due to travel to North Korea after Easter to provide advice on setting up a rabbit farm. A North Korean official rang him last week to say that the trip had been cancelled. Mr Szmolinsky said he suspected that his rabbits, which grow to the size of dogs and can weigh over 10kg (22lb), were eaten at a birthday banquet for Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, although he emphasised that he had no evidence of this.

Original story below…

North Korea puts its bunny where its mouth is
The Telegraph (Hat tip to DPRK Studies)
Graeme Baker

North Korea, the communist state which suffers severe food shortages, has handed a contract to a German man to supply it with his award-winning giant rabbits for the table.
German pensioner Karl Szmolinsky was contacted by the North Korean embassy in Berlin after attracting attention for breeding his country’s largest rabbit – Robert, a dog-sized beast weighing 23lb.

Officials visited Mr Szmolinsky, of Eberswalde, to see how big his Germany Gray Giants, which he normally sells to other breeders, really were. Suitably impressed, he was offered a supply contract on the spot. Eight females and four males bought for about £60 each were shipped to North Korea a few weeks later.

“They want to boost meat production,” Mr Szmolinsky was reported as saying. “They’ve arranged for me to go to Pyongyang in April to advise them on setting up a breeding farm.”

Mr Szmolinsky, who breeds an annual nest of up to 80 of the animals, said he wasn’t sure how many more they would want afterwards.

One of the Gray Giants yields up to 15lb of meat, enough to feed a large family. However, it is yet to be seen how poor North Korea, which suffers from acute shortages of grain and other staples, will be able to feed them. The animals are voracious eaters.


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