The Tools of Illegal Trade

It has to be acknowledged that hunting for bushmeat is a long-standing tradition in Africa. However, it used be a staple for men to feed their families, now it has expanded to an organised commercial trade to accommodate large scale workforces (usually of timber logging companies!) and communities in town and cities that choose to eat bushmeat for its apparent value and prestige, even when other food is abundantly available. No great ape species can withstand this huge population decimation for much longer, especially with massive swathes of their habitat being destroyed daily by these same logging companies.

One way to decrease hunting in the immediate future is to restrict the supply of ammunition to the poachers. The largest producers of shotguns in the area, MACC, market 2 types of cartridge used almost exclusively for bushmeat hunting. Meetings have recently been held with MACC to discuss taking these cartridges off the market. This would not wipe out poaching completely, but the extra cost of importing other brands would deter most hunters, and having to resort to traditional methods such as nets and arrows would render the hunting much less effective, therefore killing less animals.

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