Public Health Risks from Illegally Imported African Bushmeat and Smoked Fish
Large-scale importation of bushmeat from West and Central Africa into Europe was reported in 2010. We sampled 18 illegal African bushmeat consignments seized at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris, France and tested for the presence of bacteria. Additionally, five smuggled smoked fish were analysed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are known carcinogens. All bushmeat samples had viable counts of aerobic bacteria above levels considered safe for human consumption. We also identified zoonotic bacterial pathogens in bushmeat and unsafe levels of carcinogens in fish. The illegal importation of meat is a potential risk for the introduction of pathogens.
Keywordspublic health illegal trade bushmeat Europe
We would like to thank the Zebra foundation (British Veterinary Zoological Society) for funding this work. We thank the team working at the Poste d’Inspection Frontalier in Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport and Toulouse Blagnac airport, and all the customs officers, veterinarians and technicians who participated in the data collection.
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