BTG recoils at rattlesnake roundup 'gassing'

Photo courtesy of Tambako the Jaguar, Creative Commons BY-ND 2.0

A British drugmaker has landed in the middle of the controversy over Sweetwater, Texas' Rattlesnake RoundUp. State wildlife officials want to ban the event, which each year draws more than 40,000 people ready to smoke snakes out of their dens with fumes, the Financial Times reports. But hunters claim the practice helps provide venom to BTG, which makes the only U.S.-approved antidote for rattlesnake bites. The company, which sold about £63 million ($104.7 million) worth of the antidote last year, says it actually favors the ban on "gassing" and that it can get most of the venom it needs to manufacture CroFab from its own snake farm in Utah. Story (sub. req.)