Iran bans scorpion captive breeding, export

April 7, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran banned issuing license for captive breeding of scorpions for export or venom extraction purposes as the species’ population is shrinking gradually, deputy environment chief for natural environment and biodiversity directorate has stated.

Protective measures must be taken in order to keep collectors from taking too many scorpions from the wild, IRNA quoted Hamid Zohrabi as saying on Saturday.

Serious threats as well as habitat destruction, illegal export, and environmental hazards have reduced the number of species in some parts of the country, he regretted.

According to scientific documents, captive reproduction of scorpions not only have no financial benefits but leads to elimination of mature and productive scorpions from nature, he lamented, adding, scorpion venom extraction is prohibited.

Any training courses on captive breeding of the species is outlawed, so no licenses will be issued for the establishment of such centers, he highlighted.

Scorpion captive breeding centers which are licensed before, must be continuously monitored and supervised, he stated, adding that if any violations are observed, it will be pursued through the judicial system.

Illegally shipped scorpions seized from the violators must be delivered to the DOE, and should not be discarded before determining kinds of the species and location of their distribution, he concluded.

Over the past three years some opportunists have encouraged people to breed scorpion for milking its venom and have made people believe that it is the most expensive liquid worldwide saying that it costs 40 to 80 billion rials (nearly $1 to $2 million) per gram.

According to viralmega.com scorpion venom, is the most expensive liquid in the world and costs a staggering 39 million dollars per gallon.

Scorpions use their venom to kill or paralyze their prey, and as a defense against predators. But it is believed that the venom can be used it to treat diseases like arthritis and to make anti-venom’s.

But the reasons behind its extremely high price is that it is incredibly hard to obtain, one yield only produces on average 0.5mgs of venom. Three grams of venom, or 0.000792516 gallons (assuming density of water here), doesn’t sound like much. Basically if you could somehow extract that much in a day you would have to extract it from way more than a quarter of a million scorpions.

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