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Protected item on Taj menu under scanner

The National Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is investigating the sale of rare sea cucumber as a menu item at the House of Ming restaurant in the Taj Mahal Hotel on Mansingh Road in New Delhi.

Written by Neha Sinha | New Delhi |
August 27, 2009 12:42:17 am

The National Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) is investigating the sale of rare sea cucumber as a menu item at the House of Ming restaurant in the Taj Mahal Hotel on Mansingh Road in New Delhi.

The WCCB,which carried out a raid at the House of Ming today,recovered several pieces of sea cucumber from the restaurant,which serves braised sea cucumber and stir fry sea cucumber.

Sea cucumber,an endangered deep sea animal that resembles a cucumber or slug,is protected all over India. It enjoys protection as high as the tiger – under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act. Any trade or procurement of the Indian sea cucumber attracts maximum penalties under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Taj officials,meanwhile,maintained that the sea cucumber on their menu is imported from China. The WCCB has sent samples for testing to ascertain if the sub-species is Indian or Chinese. House of Ming will be liable only if the sea cucumber turns out to be of the Indian sub-species.

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A Taj spokesperson said: “We do serve sea cucumber,but this has been imported from China via the correct channels. Taj only serves imported sea cucumber,sourced either from China or Bangkok.”

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