- Robin des Bois - http://www.robindesbois.org/en -

Ebola over There

Between 2009 and 2013, US customs officials seized 69,000 pieces of African bushmeat.

Born Free, the English NGO, estimates that close to 8,000 tons of bushmeat are imported into the United Kingdom each year.

At the Roissy-en-France airport, results of a surveillance program of morning flights from western Africa lasting three weeks in June 2008 suggest that at least 3,287 tons of meat, of which 273 tonnes were bushmeat, were imported each year through terminal 2E of Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle.

Fish meat, mutton and lamb, goat, cow beef and bushmeat made up the majority of the tonnage.

Bushmeat seized in Roissy comes from several species of rodents, monkeys, snakes, elephants, antelope and pangolin both captured and poached from their natural environments.

These imports are fraudulent and forbidden by the United States of America and all countries in the European Union.

Bushmeat is a potential carrier of many health risks, notably Ebola.

The EFSA – the European Authority of Food Safety – has recently given its opinion on the risk of Ebola transmission through the import of bushmeat into France. According to the agency, the risk is “weak.” It may indeed be weak, but it is not non-existent, and isolated and sporadic cases of Ebola Fever burst out among the traffickers themselves, the clandestine butchers called in to treat and serve spoiled meats and consumers.

Many countries in West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea, have outlawed the transport and commercialization of bushmeat to contribute to the extinction of the pandemic there.

Robin des Bois asks French and European authorities to reinforce the survey of traveling luggage and of parcels coming from West or Sub-Sahelian Africa, and to proceed without delay with the industrial incineration of all suspected matters.