Chimpanzee Meat Is Being Brought Into The UK And Eaten At Weddings, Professor Claims
We've probably all grabbed a canapé at a wedding and wolfed it down without having any clue what it is. However, that's probably because we expect it's either going to be halloumi, salmon or some sort of pastry... not chimpanzee meat.
But it turns out that increasing amounts of the 'bush meat' are being smuggled into the UK for events such as weddings, according to primate scientist Professor Ben Garrod.
The University of East Anglia professor said that more than a tonne of the meat has been confiscated at UK customs in the past month, having been brought in from countries in West Africa.
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, he said: "It's rife, it's in all major cities across Europe and the US.
"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."
If you're reading this and thinking you might be partial to a bit of chimp, you might want to reconsider. The meat poses a health risk, partly because of its genetic similarities to human flesh and partly because it is often packed in unsanitary conditions.
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What's more, Western chimpanzees are critically endangered due to habitat destruction and also because of the fact their meat is considered a delicacy in some cultures.
World renowned chimpanzee expert, Dr Jane Goodall, has called on governments to introduce DNA testing at borders in a bid to help conservation efforts, and has suggested dogs could also be trained to detect it.
As it stands, the meat is difficult to detect as it is usually smoked and blackened, before reportedly being sold for up to five times the price of prime cuts of beef.
A government spokesperson told The Mirror: "As well as working with enforcement and intelligence partners in the UK and international, Border Force continues to invest in training and equipment to ensure that we do all we can to intercept illegal foodstuffs and cracks down on smugglers."
In March, customs officers in Germany stopped a man who was trying to smuggle tortoises into the country disguised as pastries.
Germany's PressePortal reports that a 69-year-old German man arrived by plane at Schönefeld Airport in Berlin with three live Moroccan tortoises in a pastry box. The animals were subsequently confiscated and placed in the car of the border veterinarian.
Just have a cheese sandwich FFS.
Featured Image Credit: PA