Domestic use of wild meat increases risk of zoonosis: report | Nagpur News

Nagpur: The collection of animals for consumption of wild meat within national borders has a significant impact on most terrestrial species protected by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), according to a new report released on Tuesday. The report is the first of its kind and covered 105 CMS species.
The report found that wild meat is often a key use and a major driver of legal and illegal hunting, particularly of ungulates and primates, and especially during times of conflict or famine and during land-use changes. . This has led to drastic declines and extinctions of several populations of migratory land mammals.
The report indicates that 70% of the CMS terrestrial mammal species hunted are used for consumption of wild meat, and 67 of the 105 species studied were recorded as hunted. Of these 67 species, the largest intended use (47 species) was for consumption of wild meat. Other hunting purposes identified were for cultural reasons, medicinal use, human-wildlife conflict, unintentional taking, and sport / trophy / fashion hunting.
Global attention to wildlife harvesting has largely focused on international trade. However, the report found that the vast majority of the harvest of CMS species for consumption of wild meat is driven by direct use or domestic trade. This has major implications for international and national efforts to protect vulnerable and threatened species.
Overall, 34 of the 99 species with an IUCN Red List assessment were reported as used at subsistence level (direct use), 27 were traded nationally and 22 were traded internationally, when all types of use have been taken into account. However, when only meat intended for consumption was considered, 27 species (out of 99) were reported as consumed for subsistence, 10 species for the domestic wild meat trade and only two species for the international wild meat trade.
CMS Executive Secretary Amy Fraenkel noted: “This report indicates for the first time a clear and urgent need to focus on the domestic use of protected migratory species of wild animals, across their range. We need to ensure that national laws and enforcement efforts are able to address this major threat to CMS species.
The report also examined the link between the harvest of species for wild meat and the risk of zoonotic diseases. There is strong evidence that zoonotic outbreaks are linked to human activities. Harvesting and consumption of wild meat has been identified as the direct causative agent of the spread in humans of Monkeypox virus, SARS, Sudan Ebola virus and Zaire Ebola virus, with subsequent human-to-human transmission. A total of 60 zoonotic viral pathogens were reported to be harbored by the 105 migratory species studied.
“As we seek to move towards sustainable global food systems, it is essential that the use of wildlife for food is both legal and sustainable. The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that the overexploitation of nature comes at a high cost. We urgently need to move away from the status quo. By doing so, we can save many species from the brink of extinction and protect ourselves from future epidemics of zoonotic diseases, ”said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
The study cited a number of factors for unsustainable hold. First, national laws and regulations may lack clarity or are outdated, failing to reflect the actual requirements of environmental factors, population traits and dynamics of the species concerned. Second, poor application is a key driver of unsustainable use in several regions. Third, civil strife and land use change can lead to increased harvest of wild meat. Fourth, migrating animals across countries and regions with a wide variety of different laws and enforcement approaches, increasing the risk of unsustainable harvest at different stages of their migration. Finally, increasing urbanization and the increased sale of wild meat as a luxury product put additional pressure on protected animals.
The report also found that seasonal migration patterns mean that migratory species are a particularly sensitive target for hunters, poachers and other consumers due to the well-known timing of the species’ arrival in a particular area. . It is important to note that wildlife contributes to the food security, health, income, employment and cultural identity of many rural economies and some of the most vulnerable Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (PAPL) in the world. world.
Any policy response must take into account these uses, as well as the drivers of food insecurity. Hunting (for all practical purposes) is reported as a key threat to the survival of many species. Excluding bats (bats), the study found that 98% (41 out of 42) of CMS species with an IUCN Red List assessment are threatened by hunting. Hunting threatens 95% (21 of 22) of those classified by the IUCN as endangered, critically endangered or extinct in the wild.
The study documented links between hunting and declining population trends for several species. About 77% (40 out of 52) of CMS species assessed by IUCN as having declining populations were recorded as threatened by hunting in this study. For example, most migratory ungulates still extant in the wild have experienced significant population declines which can be attributed to hunting. All chimpanzee subspecies and three of the four gorilla subspecies reported to be critically endangered by hunting are also experiencing large population declines. Overall, the report’s assessment finds that harvesting has a direct impact on the populations of more than half (58 out of 105) of the species studied, with high impacts for at least 42% (40 out of 105) of them. .
The study also found that there is insufficient data for a conclusive assessment of the harvest of bats, which represent half of the CMS terrestrial mammal species studied. This could indicate that they are either rarely hunted or that their hunt is underreported.
Carnivore and elephant species are hunted for many different uses, and it is often impossible to disaggregate the impact of wild meat hunting from trophy hunting or human-wildlife conflict. While wild meat can be an important source of nutrition for rural communities, it often does not play a significant role in the food security of city dwellers, for whom it is a luxury item. Yet, as urban populations increase, so does the demand for wild meat. Even low per capita consumption rates can add up to large total amounts of wild meat consumed, and urban demand is fueling an increase in unsustainable removals in surrounding areas, contributing to greater pressure on wildlife and increased pressure on wildlife. greater threat to the food supply of rural wildlife dependent communities. .
Recommendations and implications for the future
* Greater attention to domestic use and trade in CMS species is needed to address threats to conservation
* Monitoring and enforcement capacity should be reviewed and strengthened
* Factors contributing to the illegal or unsustainable use of wildlife for domestic consumption should be further identified and addressed
* Better understand the spillover risks associated with the use and trade of wild meat, and the factors that could increase or decrease these risks
* Further international cooperation will be needed to combat the harvest of wild meat from migratory species, whose range spans several countries
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