Chimpanzee meat is being eaten in the UK, according to a report by The Telegraph.
The flesh, which is served as a ‘delicacy’ at weddings, is being sold as ‘bush meat’ on market stalls, the paper claims.
Now primate scientist, Dr. Ben Garrod, is calling for DNA testing at customs to identify the meat, as it largely comes from endangered species, and there is danger of disease spreading from the bush meat to humans.
Dr. Garrod told The Telegraph that chimpanzee meat is ‘routinely smuggled’ into the UK and Europe. “It’s rife. It’s there – it’s in all the major cities across Europe and the US. We have seen bush meat confiscated in the UK in check points at borders and in markets,” he said.
“From what I know, I can’t imagine why people would want to eat chimpanzee, but most bush meat that comes to the UK is seen as a luxury food. It’s the equivalent of us wanting game.
“It’s often brought to the country for specific celebrations like a wedding or a christening. We aren’t targeting a cultural group but it is an illegal activity.”
‘Cracking down on smugglers’
“We take the smuggling of any contraband extremely seriously,” said a Government statement.
“As well as working with enforcement and intelligence partners in the UK and internationally, Border Force continues to invest in training and equipment to ensure that we do all we can to intercept illegal foodstuffs and crack down on smugglers.”