From: Reuters
Published October 14, 2004 12:00 AM

Bushmeat Trade Is Flourishing in "Hot Spots," Says Report

BANGKOK — The market for the meat of animals killed illegally is flourishing in Kenya's capital Nairobi, one of many "hot spots" for a trade that is a serious threat to wild fauna, a report said on Wednesday.


The findings by the Born Free Foundation, a conservation nongovernmental organization, were presented on the sidelines of the 13th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).


The report, titled "Eating the Unknown," said many customers of Nairobi butchers were unaware the meat they bought came from wild animals — known as bushmeat — believing it to be beef or goat.


The report randomly surveyed 202 butchers in Nairobi and analyzed the meat obtained from them at the Kenyan Wildlife Service's veterinary laboratory.


It found that 25 percent of the products surveyed was bushmeat and 19 percent a mixture of game and meat from domesticated animals.


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"The statistics suggest that nearly half the meat bought and sold from the 202 butcheries in the survey is either entirely or partly bushmeat," said Winnie Kiiru, East African representative of the Born Free Foundation.


This is of concern for people as well as wildlife because the spread of diseases such as anthrax and ebola have been linked to human consumption of wild animals.


The trade in bushmeat is seen as one of the many threats facing African wildlife, including various monkey and antelope species as well as great apes such as the chimpanzee.


Enforcement has emerged as a key issue at CITES, which regulates global trade in wild flora and fauna. The conference ends on Thursday.


Source: Reuters


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