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Grasscutter production: an example of rational exploitation of wildlife

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Grasscutters or cane rats (Thryonomys spp.) are widely-distributed and valuable animals in West and Central Africa. Research has been carried out over the past 15 years to select and improve stock in order to improve their adaptability to a restricted life in captivity and to develop rearing programmes in rural and peri-urban areas of Africa. The biology of these rodents and the current status of grasscutter production are reviewed. The cultural and nutritional value of grasscutter meat, compared with that of other domestic animals, is underlined. Diverse economical, nutritional and environmental arguments for implementing grasscutter rearing in rural development programmes in Africa are listed and a method to develop grasscutter farming in any given country is suggested.

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Jori, F., Mensah, G.A. & Adjanohoun, E. Grasscutter production: an example of rational exploitation of wildlife. Biodivers Conserv 4, 257–265 (1995).

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