Monkey meat warning: AIDS fears as chimp flesh 'sold on Brit market stalls'
Chimpanzee meat is being sold in the UK, with the risk of it sparking “the next big pandemic”, experts have warned.
By Sofie Jackson, Daily Star (UK)
10th June 2019
Sold as “bush meat”, the chimp flesh has found its way onto platters at weddings and Christenings, and is also sold as a luxury food at market stalls in the UK.
Diseases such as HIV can be transmitted from chimpanzees to humans because we are so genetically similar.
Dr Ben Garrod told the Telegraph that a ton of bush meat from West Africa was confiscated on a flight bound for the US in recent weeks.
"It's rife, it's in all major cities across Europe and the US," the University of East Anglia professor said.
He added: “We have seen bush meat confiscated in the UK in checkpoints at borders and in markets.
"It's often brought to the country for specific celebrations like a wedding or a Christening."
Chimpanzee meat is seen as a luxury food item in some cultures.
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.”
The scientist then compared the health risk to the HIV pandemic in the 1980s.