Smoked monkeys, turtle heads, whole bats — at the bushmeat market in Mbandaka in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo, you can find quite a few exotic types of meat. Bushmeat is one of the most important sources of protein for many Congolese. But it has a dangerous aftertaste. Whether bird flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola , or COVID-19, many diseases are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans. Zoonotic diseases account for about 75% of emerging diseases currently affecting humans. They also include yellow fever, various forms of influenza, rabies, and Lyme disease. Many of these diseases can be traced back to the consumption of bushmeat. The illegal wildlife trade is worth $27 billion annually, by some estimates The illegal bushmeat fallacy In West and Central Africa, hunting and trading in various species of wild animals is either legal or semi-legal. Bushmeat is also popular in southern Africa. “For some people, it’s about going back to more traditional ways of eating. It’s like they’re going back to their culture of consuming more natural or traditional foods,” Luwi Nguluka, awareness program manager of the Wildlife Crime Prevention (WCP), a nongovernmental organization in Zambia, told DW. WCP fights the illegal wildlife trade in… Read full this story
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