Free-for-all bush-meat trade adds pressure to wildlife conservation efforts

PIC: A man walks past bushmeat including pangolins, bush rats and tiger cats on sale on a roadside in Bata, Equatorial Guinea

By PAULINE KAIRU
In June last year, over 180 slaughtered dikdiks were seized by authorities in Akales, Galana Ranch, Kilifi County in Kenya. Five people were arrested in association with the crime.

A few weeks later, three people were arrested at Didima Bula in Tana Delta sub-county, Kenya, with the carcasses of more than 140 dikdiks.

Earlier in May, at least 88 kilogrammes of bushmeat was confiscated between Tsavo East and Tsavo West in Kenya. The meat was likely headed for the capital Nairobi or nearby Voi town, where it would be mixed in with livestock meat as has become custom.

This — killing wildlife for meat — is not confined to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the region in general are in on it.

Wildlife conservationists now say they are worried about the rise in poaching for bushmeat in the region and the imminent destabilisation of wildlife resources. They blame it all on legal and administrative loopholes.

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