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GAME MEAT CONSUMPTION A THREAT TO ANIMAL POPULATION

A new report on wildlife conservation has warned that wild animals in protected areas are likely to be wiped out if there is no quick intervention to address the increasing consumption of game meat in Uganda.

The study dubbed ‘Wildlife Conservation and Bush Meat Crisis Survey,’ which was conducted around Murchison Falls Conservation Area by Uganda Wildlife Educational Centre in conjunction with Uganda Wildlife Authority between March and April this year, shows bush meat trade has long been recognised as a severe problem, but receives little attention.
“It should be pointed out that 85 per cent of the respondents confessed having consumed wild meat in the last two weeks prior to the study,” the report shows.
The survey used 1,803 pupils, 47 teachers and 450 community members from 12 schools in Kiriyandongo, Oyam, Nwoya and Bullisa districts that neighbour Murchison Falls Conservation Area.
In the report, wildlife is viewed as source of food by some respondents (33 per cent) and therefore represents a form of food security.
“Hunters are likely to adopt sophisticated and efficient hunting methods such as use of automatic rifles, quick and fast means of transportation so as to avoid being apprehended,” part of the report reads.
The report also highlighted that hunters target areas where wildlife concentrates, such as water sources, flowering and fruiting trees which leaves animals with no fair chance of survival as it hinders breeding.
However, the report notes that strict laws can only result in hostilities and resentment to conservation from communities compared to carrying out dialogue and attitude change programmes.

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