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Exploring the bushmeat market in Brussels, Belgium: a clandestine luxury business
Gombeer, S.; Nebesse, C.; Musaba, P.; Ngoy, S.; Peeters, M.; Vanderheyden, A.; Meganck, K.; Smitz, N.; Geers, F.; Van Den Heuvel, S.; Backeljau, T.; De Meyer, M.; Verheyen, E. (2021). Exploring the bushmeat market in Brussels, Belgium: a clandestine luxury business. Biodivers. Conserv. 30(1): 55-66.
In: Biodiversity and Conservation. Kluwer Academic Publishers/Springer: London. ISSN 0960-3115; e-ISSN 1572-9710, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Gombeer, S.
  • Nebesse, C.
  • Musaba, P.
  • Ngoy, S.
  • Peeters, M.
  • Vanderheyden, A.
  • Meganck, K.
  • Smitz, N., more
  • Geers, F.
  • Van Den Heuvel, S.
  • Backeljau, T., more
  • De Meyer, M.
  • Verheyen, E.

    The European Union prohibits the import of meat (products) unless specifically authorised and certified as being eligible for import. Nevertheless, various scientific papers report that passengers from west and central African countries illegally import large quantities of meat, including bushmeat, into Europe via its international airports. They also suggest that African bushmeat is an organised luxury market in Europe. In the present study we explore several aspects of the African bushmeat market in Brussels, Belgium. We demonstrate the clandestine nature of this market where bushmeat is sold at prices at the top of the range of premium livestock and game meat. Inquiries among central and western African expatriates living in Belgium, who frequently travel to their home countries, indicate that the consumption of bushmeat is culturally driven by the desire to remain connected to their countries of origin. DNA-based identifications of 15 bushmeat pieces bought in Brussels, reveal that various mammal species, including CITES-listed species, are being sold. Moreover, we find that several of these bushmeat pieces were mislabelled.

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