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The Story Behind Bushmeat: The Relationship Between Rising Viral Diseases and Diminishing Animals

monkey on a tree

During the height of Covid-19 in 2020, increased cases of bushmeat hunting were recorded. Even though this hunting is illegal in many African countries, including Kenya, killing wildlife for recreation and for food remains common – especially during the pandemic, when many lost their tourism income.

Yet an important piece of the story was missing from these reports: As a joint report by the World Health Organization and the Chinese authorities demonstrated, the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by the spillover of disease from animals to humans. And the more humans and animals come into contact with each other, especially when humans eat infected animals, the more likely it is that additional diseases will emerge.

In this seminar, speakers discussed the East African perspective: Who are the players in the bushmeat industry? What are governments and NGOs doing to prevent bushmeat consumption? What solutions could be implemented to protect both animals and humans?


  • Kenneth Kimitei — Landscape Ecologist for the Tsavo-Mkomazi Landscape at the African Wildlife Foundation (email)
  • Daniel Ndizihiwe — Wildlife and Protected Areas Manager at WWF Uganda (email)
  • Dr. Daniel Mdetele — TRAFFIC lead on zoonotic disease risk analysis in Tanzania's game meat trade as part of USAID's Wildlife TRAPS project (email)



  • Kiundu Waweru — East Africa Wildlife Journalism Project Manager at the Earth Journalism Network



Please click on the speakers' names to download their presentations.