Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chimpanzee meat for sale in the UK

Chimpanzee meat is for sale in restaurants and in market stalls in the UK.

Monkey meat, which can cost more than £20 (around $40) a kilogram, is part of the black market trade, known as ‘rife’ in Europe.
Last year over 270 tonnes passed through the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
The chimpanzee meat was discovered following raids by trading standards in the Midlands.
A Government whistle-blower said: ‘It is well known this practice is underway in the region but I was shocked to discover the meat that was tested was once a chimpanzee.
‘Dubious meat is often tested, and has turned out to be things like rats and vermin in the past – but chimpanzee is unbelievable.’

No one is really sure how the monkey meat arrived in the Midlands, but experts believe it was probably flown into the country from Africa,maybe hidden in luggage.
Dr Marcus Rowcliffe, a researcher at the Zoological Society of London and an expert on the trade, said at least five tonnes of bushmeat arrives in Europe every week to be distributed across the continent.
He said: ‘I’m not at all surprised that bushmeat is on sale in the Midlands because we know the trade is going on in the UK and that there is a regular flow of smuggled meat into the country.
‘However, it is not often that chimpanzee is found as that is rare even in the markets of Africa, so I am surprised by that.

Some is bushmeat, brought in disguised as other meat products such as beef or lamb.
Once in Britain, more than half the illegal meat is distributed through wholesalers or sold at local street markets.
The trade in bushmeat has become big business and even though some hunters go after gorillas, chimpanzees and other primate species, great apes constitute less than one per cent of bushmeat from all species sold on the market.
Officials are warning that imported meat could be carrying infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth, anthrax, the Ebola virus, TB or cholera.