Monday, August 29, 2005

Monkey meat sold in city

KAMPALA City residents fond of eating game meat face the risk of catching deadly diseases including ebola.

In a press statement, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) warned that the game meat being sold in Kampala was a mixture of baboon, monkey meat and other game such as antelopes and buffaloes.

UWA’s head Moses Mapesa warned that diseases such as ebola were likely to crop up if people continued feasting on the bush meat.

He said a recent survey carried out by UWA officials against illegal hunting in the Kafu basin showed that baboon and monkey meat is mixed with that of antelopes and sold in areas as far as Kampala.

Kafu basin runs along river Kafu and goes through Masindi, Nakasongola, Luweero, Kiboga and Mubende districts.

Mapesa said because poaching, trade and consumption of game meat is illegal, most of the activities are done at night in slums or unlicensed places. He said consequently, registered veterinarians do not inspect the meat.

“UWA therefore warns the public against consumption of any wild animal meat. It is illegal, it is a health hazard and robs the country of foreign exchange through tourism,’’ the statement said.

Baboons are closely related to humans because they share over 90% of the genetic material. This close genetic relation increases the risk of spreading certain diseases.

“Baboons are closely related to humans and the cultural and ethical norms in Uganda do not
permit us to feast on our close relatives. It is therefore an abominable act,’’ Mapesa said.

Story here.

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