Sunday, June 12, 2016

Did you want Anthrax with that?

Warning: Graphic images of butchery and skin lesion
Removal of fresh hippopotamus meat from poached carcass  
[1] Illustration only. Removal of fresh hippopotamus meat from poached carcass

DNPW are saying the ‘cull’ (which is in fact ‘trophy hunting’) is to ‘control anthrax’. This appears to be a convenient excuse to raise some revenue. They can’t have it both ways can they? 

Anthrax control v's Meat Sales...

[2] Image: Fair use from
None of the hippos who have been killed and butchered are being tested for anthrax (as far as I know) and the meat taken from the hippo’s bodies are already being sold from the back of the vehicles in the local villages for a K-tenner or so, per kilo.

Do the people buying the meat know that anthrax is a concern of DNPW or that the so called reason hippos are being killed is to ‘stop the spread of anthrax’.

The Director of DNPW, Paul Zyambo must be upfront about what this whole operation is all about. It is not good enough to call the operation an Health Issue and then potentially put people's lives at risk. It is not good enough to generate revenue from Trophy Hunting calling it a cull and selling the hippo's flesh from the back of vehicles.

Mr Zyambo cannot have it both ways. Either the hippos have anthrax and need to be 'culled' for safety reasons, therefore their meat cannot be sold and eaten without risking human lives, or they do not have anthrax and are being killed purely for revenue raising in a deal with a foreign trophy hunter.

If anthrax is (really) a concern why would the DNPW allow the the sale of the meat out of the back of the meat processor’s trucks to local people?

If this is an exercise in anthrax control, why doesn’t the DNPW burn the carcasses?

PS:  If you know these men, please, keep a close eye on the skin of the Hippo butchers (pictured above) and anyone else who has handled or carried the Hippo’s flesh because if there is anthrax then lesions can appear on the skin called Cutaneous Anthrax Lesions.

[3] Image: Cutaneous Anthrax Lesion 
*Humans and animals can ingest anthrax from carcasses of dead animals that are infected with Anthrax. In 2011 in Chama in eastern Zambia – 500 people got sick and 5 died after eating anthrax contaminated hippos. Handling or eating anthrax infected hippo meat can cause illness.

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Note Image Sources - Fair Use
1. Arkive
ARKive photo - Removal of fresh hippopotamus meat from poached carcass
Image credit  © Bruce Davidson /