Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

What is the bushmeat trade?

Dik diks on truck (c) BFF
Bushmeat seized in Kenya

The killing of wild animals for their meat is known as the 'bushmeat trade'. In the past, bushmeat was largely a subsistence (hand to mouth) activity, and hunters took just enough to satisfy their families’ needs. However, in recent years, it has become much more commercial. Increasing demand and profitability have meant bushmeat is supplied not only at the local level, but also for national and even international markets. To meet this growing demand, hunters are killing ever greater numbers of wildlife.

In Kenya, animals are hunted throughout the year and most are caught using indiscriminate snares. These snares are loops of wire which are set along the pathways that animals use to access feeding areas and water holes. As the animal walks along the pathway it may get its head or a limb caught in the snare. When the animal struggles, the wire snare tightens and the animal eventually dies a long and painful death.

Much of this hunting is illegal and the bushmeat trade is now threatening the survival of many wild animals. Indeed, the bushmeat trade is now the single biggest threat facing many wild animal species in Africa.

Bushmeat Survey:

As part of our ongoing Bushmeat Campaign, Born Free commissioned Youth for Conservation (YfC) to conduct a survey of the butcheries in Nairobi . 202 samples of meat were taken to the Kenya Wildlife Service veterinary laboratories for analysis to identify bushmeat and then to identify the species of each bushmeat sample.

Download a copy of the survey - "Eating The Unknown" - here pdf format 230KB

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