DUNDEE, Scotland, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The genital organs of Scottish deer are making their way to China, where athletes believe eating them contributes to endurance and strength.
The "pizzles," as they are known in Scotland, come from the 100,000 or so highland deer culled every year to prevent overpopulation, The Scotsman reports.
"The meetings with the Chinese have been one of the most interesting negotiations I have ever had," said Christian Nissen, head of Highland Game, a Dundee venison dealer. "Every processor has the responsibility to attempt to sell as much of the carcass as possible."
Athletes have consumed pizzles for hundreds of years because the deer was a symbol of longevity. But there may be some scientific basis for the practice since the organs are heavy in vitamins and protein, the newspaper said.
Fans reportedly include Yao Ming, the Chinese NBA basketball player and one of the country's athletic heroes.
"I have never tried it, but if there are any Scots athletes who want to give it a go I'm sure we could arrange it," Finlay Clark, secretary of the Association of Deer Management Groups, told The Scotsman.