End Illegal Bush Meat Trade in Western Africa

Target: Democratic Republic of Congo Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism; Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda; Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in Cameroon

Goal: Put an end to the illegal bush meat trade

In parts of Western Africa, bush meat, or meat from animals caught in the wild, is commonly hunted. Often times the animals that are caught are endangered or protected species such as gorillas, bonobos, antelopes and lemurs. Some hunters use what they catch for sustenance, or sell it locally. Others export the illegal meat to those willing to pay a high price. Despite laws prohibiting endangered species being used for bush meat, tons of it can be found each day being illegally sold and transported on trains.

Not only is it unethical to poach an endangered species, but it could also lead to the spread of disease in humans. An Ebola outbreak that took the lives of 10 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may have been linked to bush meat consumption. Between 2008 and 2010, shipments of illegal bush meat seized in the United States were tested by the Center for Disease Control and found positive for strains of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), Ebola, herpes and monkey pox. Some of the viruses still remained even after the animals were smoked.

Despite efforts to thwart the bush meat trade, it is still prevalent in today’s world. It is difficult to enforce, but this is a problem that needs to be nipped in the bud. There needs to be more manpower out in the field to prevent poachers from hunting and selling bush meat. Specials teams need to be trained in this in order to truly enforce the law. Shipments on trains need to be subject to more extensive checks. Local people who depend on bush meat for their livelihood need to be taught alternatives. By signing this petition, you are urging the governments of countries subject to this poaching to crack down on the people that still partake in this illegal practice.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Democratic Republic of Congo Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism; Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda; Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in Cameroon,

The poaching of endangered species to sell for meat is a horrific practice. We are grateful that you have put forth efforts to prevent the bush meat trade. We realize that it is extremely difficult to enforce and regulate, but it is an urgent and important cause. There needs to be more manpower out in the field. Teams specially trained for this cause need to be implemented to enforce the ban on bush meat. In a time where the extinction rate is 1000 times more than what should naturally occur, it is of utmost importance to take all measures to ensure the protection of the species that we have left.

In addition to animal protection reasons, bush meat is also a danger to human health. Strains of SIV, Ebola, monkey pox and other diseases can be transmitted from consumption. Shipments on trains need to be thoroughly checked to prevent bush meat from being exported. Locals who use bush meat for sustenance need to be aware of its risks and given assistance in finding an alternative way to provide for themselves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: CIFOR via Flickr

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6 Comments

  1. Alice Dawson

    Nostradamus sent us a message through time, not alone was he in his Quest, the Hopi, the Mayans, the Egyptians, the Incas & many Indeginous group/ancient cultures even Newton, Metzer and the Blessed Virgin have given us the predictions soo, why we cannot change is beyond my comprehension & whoever you believe in, because whoever you are you believe in something, you are able to change for good not evil…We must band together for the good of mankind to save our country our world against all the evil that’s going be set on us, so please before it does, please whatever you can however big or small do something to show GOD we do love & believe in Him~

  2. Please sign & share this is an issue that can’t be ignored, and the suffering of these innocent babies is completely unacceptable.

  3. crystal kilchrist says:

    So what happens after they have killed off all the innocence of these animals? they just wont stop until all the beauty in the world is gone.

  4. Dégluasse

  5. You ignorant barbaric fool.
    1. Get your geography right – Uganda in Western Africa?! Seriously? That’s like saying Brazil is in New York. There are no gorillas in Western DRC, all of the DRC’s gorillas live at the Uganda/DRC border.
    2. Get your science right – and please don’t fabricate data and name drop CDC without a citation
    3. Get your facts straight – the locals in Uganda don’t kill or eat gorillas you fool, mountain gorilla numbers are actually on the rise there.
    4. Don’t fabricate data – if you have year on year data on global gorilla meat exports and imports, perhaps interpol should be questioning you!

    Gorillas are highly endangered, their plight must be taken seriously – bogus campaigners like you add insult to injury and demean the cause. Do you even know anything about gorillas or their beautiful habitats? If you genuinely cared, you would actually do some real research, go to a tropical rain forest and actually see a real gorilla for yourself, and put together a proper campaign.

    The total population of mountain gorillas of just 880 individuals – is under threat from European oil and gas companies, messing up the Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Learn more about the risk posed to mountain gorillas and other biodiversity by this proposed exploration. http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/congo_basin_forests/problems/oil_extraction/virunga_under_threat/

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