ghana’s bushmeat butchers: 24 hours at the slaughter slab - clear plastic roofing
The antelope looks like a cartoon deer. It had rust-
The fur is brightly colored, with white spots on the hind legs and quirky manners.
Its throat was cut, and it had just been poured unpolitely on the hard --
Black land in Atwemonom burning area, open-
Located in the air slaughterhouse of Ghana Commercial jungle meat trade center.
The antelope, a female bush deer, took out a white plastic bag from a rickety van at dawn.
This is the month of delivery together (
Big sugarcane rat that looks like a big guinea pig, about 1 feet long)
Eight giant rats and two rabbits
The market woman who supervised the delivery asked the butcher to count everything twice.
After the audit was completed, a butcher burned the fur of the creatures in an open fire and then dragged the body to a nearby slaughterhouse.
By the way, this is a bit of a misnomer.
All the wild games are dead.
There is nothing to be butchered here except the occasional apparently anxious goat.
When slaughtered, the body was scrubbed with burnt fur and soot.
Then, what happens next depends on the market women who have meat.
Some people get it dirty and get dressed.
Some prefer to keep the bodies intact, throw them in industrial refrigerators and slaughter them before they are sold.
Atwemonom is located in Kumasi, Ghana's second largest city.
About 10 minutes from the central market.
The slaughterhouse is located next to a traffic jam Road, and it seems that nothing has moved for several hours.
The meat market was very lively that morning.
The women are setting up stalls with huge stainless steel bowls filled with a full grascott antelope and little duyque antelope.
Outside the slaughter board is a small lane, from a hawker selling popsicles to a foreign salesman selling a blender on a never-ending Street, a passage for everyonenever.
That morning, this is the preparation area for a street.
Food vendors squat on pe and mortar and grind peppers, tomatoes and onions into chili sauce.
The smell of burnt meat floats through the enclosure of wood and zinc roof tops: burning areas.
Inside, there is a low charcoal burning between the two engine blocks.
It smokes some mower slowly.
The butcher said it was for someone who was going to bring the meat back to Europe.
Any wild animal from the countryside-the Bush-that was killed was jungle meat.
This is a controversial term.
It is not clear how the antelope meat delivered to atmay is different from the wild deer meat sold at a high price at London Knight Bridge.
It is also unclear why the term viande de brousse from France is almost entirely used to refer to wild games from West and Central Africa.
In these areas, the number of wild animals has fallen sharply as more and more jungles have been cleared by logging workers, miners and farmers.
Some species are endangered.
As a result, hunters are forced to go deeper and deeper into nature reserves and other previously undisturbed areas.
The problem is that the more people venture into the jungle, the closer they are to the reservoir of possible infectious diseases. Around three-
All new human diseases come from animals.
Jungle meat is a huge but little known industry.
How big is the market for jungle meat?
Why is it such an important part of so many people's diet?
Will animal products in places like atwem pose a threat to people around the world?
Hussein Iddrisu * has been studying this trade from his father for ten years.
He processes 30 to 70 bodies for market women every day, paying for each batch.
He said it was hard work.
The fire is hot and muscles are needed to cut.
You will be burned or hacked if you are not careful.
The most important thing is the bad business.
He didn't have time to stop and chat a few years ago.
Now, the hunters just don't send that much meat from the bushes.
He cut off the head and three legs of the antelope with a machete, then lifted his torso to the fire, and the fire began to break.
Another Butcher took over the body, rotated the body with the remaining legs with a bare hand, and scraped the burnt fur with a machete held by the other hand, send a bunch of burnt fur in each direction.
You can smell the pungent smell of burning hair and meat.
About ten minutes later, Rust
The colored fur is gone.
The Butcher lifted the body over his shoulder, lifted it out of the burning Place, across the driveway, giving off the smell of fresh cooked meat and metal soup.
He poured the steaming body on the blood.
The Butcher's plate
The jungle meat of Atwemonom comes from rural areas like Barekese (North of Kumasi)
, The road between Kumasi and Sunyani, and Konongo, which is leading to the capital Accra.
Some were hunted far from neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire.
The freshest specimen was captured in the darkest hours of the night before, when the sugarcane rat stepped on a metal trap that broke its neck, the antelope was hit, and the hare caught the sharp end of a machete.
The Forestry Board inspector, Moses akologu, was responsible for tracking the catches he encountered, recording the type of each catch, the method of death, gender, weight and price, and whether the specimen was pregnant and where it was hunted.
It is August, so akologu only counted grascarter, who arrived at Atme.
About 80 million sugar cane rats are hunted in the area every year.
They have a very healthy population, he said: "Every three months they have 10 children.
Hunters occasionally send protected species like hyenas and pangolins here.
"If you bring it here and I catch you, I will catch it all for the government.
They will bring you to court . "
The only sanctions against illegal hunting are fines. usually modest)sum of money.
In Ghana, the Forestry Commission manages hunting activities.
They issue licenses to hunters and licenses to market women who sell jungle meat.
David Kpelle, travel and business manager at the wildlife division, said in his office in Accra that they also set the hunting season.
When we say that, it is the off-season from August 1-12 to 1.
During this part of the year, hunters should only go after the farm pest grascarter.
In the open season, hunters can kill fast-shrinking species lists that are not on the endangered species list (
Including bushbuck, duiker, civets, warthogs and squirrels).
"Some animals should not be hunted at any time.
We have lions, elephants, and black people. and-
"White colobus monkeys, Diana monkeys-we think they are threatened species," Kpelle said . ".
The animals are hunted in large quantities, or their habitats are destroyed by planted farms and logging roads.
To protect them, the Forestry Commission has established 16 protected areas throughout the country.
"Of course, there is no boundary for wildlife," Kpelle said . " Hunters don't respect them or even chase elephants, not just ivory, he says.
"The elephant is also very good meat.
The trunk is the best part.
"Ultimately, it is difficult to convince people that hunting requires strict regulation: people eat jungle meat for generations and there is evidence that demand for jungle meat may grow in certain areas.
Climate change and illegal fishing by fishing boats from other parts of the world mean Ghana's fisheries are almost collapsed.
Kpelle said a researcher found that when catch fell, the number of jungle meat sold increased.
"Jungle meat is an important part of our dietary needs in Ghana.
"Protein is essential for children's physical and mental development.
Its Lack has hampered millions of people in the region.
Wild Games, which have long been a source of protein, are still essential in many places, because raising domesticated farm animals can be difficult.
Parts of Ghana are susceptible to fly picking, which makes cattle farmers
As high as 12 million dollars in sub-Saharan Africa (£9. 2m)
Loss for one year.
Fresh fish can only be bought near waterways or coasts.
As a result, Ghana imports an estimated 90 of all meat in the country (
About $200 of frozen chicken was introduced in 2013 alone)
This makes it relatively expensive.
In parts of Ghana, jungle meat is the freshest protein.
Otherwise farmers struggling during the dry season can feed their families and bring in some extra income.
Like many other parts of the world, some consumers in Ghana are increasingly willing to buy healthy natural foods.
Because wild games tend to be thin, locally sourced, and connoisseurs swear to be delicious, it starts to get high prices in cities like Kumasi, where prices are more expensive than beef or lamb.
In Ghana alone, the jungle meat industry generates about £ 105 a year.
For many people, eating jungle meat is also meant to keep tradition alive and maintain a culture that is in harmony with nature, which is rapidly disappearing.
At Atwemonom, the butcher who stored the antelope's body on the slaughter board began to scrub clean with a wire sponge and a basin of water.
There is no faucet, the water comes from the yellow jerry can filled around the corner.
The tiled concrete floor was smooth and blurred by the soot from the burnt body.
Another butcher cleaned up some meat and internal organs.
Behind him, a woman poured a bowl of blood on a short wall and sent the blue bottle on it to the crazy cloud.
Once the Bushel was cleaned, the butcher carried the body back on his shoulder and took it from the burning place to a large wooden shed full of freezers.
He poured it in blood. spattered deep-
Next to it is another antelope and several gras grass.
When business is booming, women in the market are saving animals for a day.
Everything I saw at atwem was nothing more objectionable than the events of a typical industrial slaughterhouse anywhere in the world.
Atwemonom is notable because blood, gore and bodies are in the open air in the market areas of big cities.
The large amount of blood and other body fluids involved in the meat processing process can pose a risk to the relevant personnel.
Although atwemir is a registered slaughterhouse, there are few safety precautions on display.
Yaa Ntiamoa said: "If you deal with wildlife, you will increase the risk of exposure to any infectious substance if there is one
Baidu, a professor of zoology at the University of Ghana, has been studying jungle meat in Ghana for decades.
"But it's different to eat cooked meat.
"I don't think you're going to buy a bowl of Pu-style meat that will give you any disease," she said . ".
Of course, this applies to any meat unless the food is not cooked properly.
Most of the market women who run the jungle meat trade are generations.
Atwemonom is composed of two veterans, the market Queen Akoto Abena * and the Mercy Achang Pang *.
Achilanbang graduated from school in 1969 and worked in the spareribs bar of his parents.
The Chop bar is a restaurant specializing in the area, usually with plastic chairs, short tables and mostlike-mama-made-it dishes (
Chop means "eat" in West African Pidgin English).
The spareribs of achian's parents were once on the market, when the area was basically a swamp next to the cemetery.
Even so, it is known for its jungle meat: the name Atwemonom is a compound word for Twi-Kumasi and the language of the surrounding area-roughly translated into "fresh antelope"
Before returning to the slaughterhouse about 20 years ago, achian ran a jungle meat stall on the Hill of the Central Market.
Business was good at the time.
There are good forest animals, and there is an endless stream of customers.
Everything changed a few years ago.
"No one came here to buy," said Acheampong . ".
"Ebola has completely destroyed the whole industry.
Public health officials did not tell people not to eat jungle meat.
"The whole world is in a state of panic.
The first message is the wrong signal, "said Dr. Bashiru Boi Kikimoto, head of public health at Ghana veterinary services.
"They said, 'If you eat jungle meat, you get Ebola, 'rather than explaining further which kind of jungle meat.
Kikimoto said: "They should say that you are in danger if you are in contact with a dead monkey or a dead bat.
"But they put all the wildlife together, causing a lot of panic.
The virus may have been transmitted from animals to humans for thousands of years.
In the last half
For only a century, the virus and epidemiology have been tracking a series of deadly diseases, including bird flu, SARS, HIV and Ebola.
2013 Ebola outbreak in West Africa may have originated from two peopleyear-
A little boy from rural Guinea played with a fruit stick and died of illness two days later.
The fruit bat is considered a reservoir for Ebola).
Globally, 11,325 people have died, most of them in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Ghana has no Ebola cases on record, but it is impossible to exaggerate the level of fear people have about the country's next country.
Fruit bats are as common in Ghana as birds. The straw-
Colored creatures are a delicacy in parts of the country, with an estimated 128,000 people eaten each year.
They can migrate up to 2,500 km people and find Ebola antibodies in bats in rural Ghana.
However, for decades, people have been in contact with the bat colonies in the cities, and there is no documented Ebola epidemic.
Health officials have decided to tell people to avoid contact with animals believed to be spreading the Ebola virus: bats, monkeys and antelopes.
People are told that they should use protective equipment if they have to touch them.
They need to cook it thoroughly if they want to eat other jungle meat.
5 minutes of boiling killed the vast majority of pathogens found in the food.
Kikimoto said that most of the common jungle meat in Ghana is unlikely to be infected-for example, grascarter is believed to not spread the Ebola virus.
However, once his message has been translated into more than 250 languages and dialects in Ghana, it has been reduced to "not eating jungle meat ".
Most jungle meat is more likely to give you a garden-
Kikimoto says a variety of food poisoning
It is known that grascarter carries about 40 kinds of human and animal pathogens including parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungi.
But even fish can carry 15 species of human-animal pathogens, including salmonella and E. coli, he said. coli.
"What saves us is the way we cook meat," Kikimoto said . ".
"There are very few highly hot ones.
"Ghanaian soups and stews tend to cook for hours, while smoked jungle meat reaches high temperatures and then cooks for the second time.
No one eats antelopes on rare occasions.
A market woman at Atwemonom is slaughtering the fresh red meat of an African civet.
Cats, they are very long.
Like creatures with Brown spotted fur, it is known for its expensive coffee made from coffee beans.
The woman cuts the meat into small pieces while her assistant packs the meat in a clear plastic bag for a customer who is buying 40 Cedar (about £7. 50)worth.
When the assistant was finished, she removed the lid from the bright blue bucket.
It is filled with dark green fiber stomach contents of several gras grass.
She scooped some into the plastic bag.
Each meat has stomach contents.
It is said that this sauce gives the soup a unique, freshfrom-the-bush aroma.
In the ribs bar on the market, the bush broth flavored with these stomach items is the most popular dish.
The restaurant, run by Efia Konadu *, exudes a steady stream of delicious flavors: rich, greasy palm nut soup, followed by soil, peanut soup.
The kitchen is outdoors, women wash dishes in a corner, and a pair of people smash cassava and plantain into the industrial quantity of West African staple fufu behind the short wall.
The spareribs bar is a wild game site for most Ghanaians, offering 85 of the jungle meat sold to the public.
At the other end of the market, two men in dress shirts, ties and matching cufflinks are buying bushbuck and grasscutter (
Called akrantie in Twi).
"We are making light soup, or you can call it akrantie soup," says Dominic Erasmus . ".
They said they spent 250. under £50)
About 10 kilograms of meat and try to get the market women to give away a few pieces of meat for free.
As Erasmus scooped the stomach contents of the grass into the plastic bag, he said: "In achrantti, we don't throw anything except fur.
Erasmus is a medical administrator who believes it is safe to eat jungle meat: "We don't think there is any danger," he said. "We are health workers.
"So, what do we know about risk?
In the 1980 s, Dr. Donald Burke went to look for an HIV vaccine.
Burke, who was at the time the chief neurologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute, collected different HIV strains from around the world.
The researchers trace them all back to one source.
"We found that all variants of HIV and others exist in the Congo Basin," Burke said . ".
This raises the question: where did these viruses come from?
At that time, HIV strains were related to non-viruses.
Human long-lived animals like chimpanzees
But how the virus enters humans is unknown, and Burke says he is currently the dean of the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.
"No one thinks jungle meat is the source.
As part of his research, Burke was invited to Cameroon in 1996 by Colonel Atter Mpoudi Ngole, head of the Cameroon AIDS program.
"People are selling jungle meat everywhere," Burke said . "
He remembers that the woman will take away a dead animal, burn all her hair and give it to her husband, who will cut the animal into pieces that can be cooked.
"There was blood, bone fragments and sharp machetes in the process," he said . ".
"It would be a miracle if there were no crosses
In this case, the species of the virus spread.
Burke and Mpoudi Ngole established a study of jungle meat hunters in villages in southern Cameroon in 1998.
Hunters put the blood of the animals they killed on the filter paper and give some cameras to take photos of the animals so that the species can be identified.
Burke said tests on the hunters themselves showed that they had been exposed to viruses related to the species they killed.
Bonobos and bonobos are the closest animals to human beings.
We are particularly vulnerable to diseases that infect them, but not entirely.
We still don't know exactly how HIV
The primates of human beings.
The main assumption is that hunting and slaughtering species such as bon chimpanzees and chimpanzees will expose people to the blood and body fluids of infected animals.
Research supports the idea that HIV is present in this way, suggesting that
Human primates animals looking for meat have a high rate of ape-like HIV, which is believed to be caused by the virus.
A study conducted by Burke confirmed that hunters in Cameroon were infected with the monkey foam virus, which is known to be harmful to humans but comes from the same family as HIV.
"It ended the public question about where the virus came from," Burke said . ".
But how do these viruses spread around the world?
In the 1980 s, Burke traveled to northern Thailand to collect samples from HIV-positive soldiers.
When all the samples are detected, it's like they come from one person.
When Burke asked the recruits if they had sexual contact, most of them said they had been to a massage parlor in northern Chiang Mai.
"I think we can guess very wisely that at the end of 1987, a person was infected in that massage facility ,[
Single strain of HIV
Then millions of people spread to the south.
East Asia, "he said.
Researchers have confirmed that all known HIV variants exist in the Congo Basin.
So the question is, how did the virus spread from Cameroon to Chiang Mai, Burke said?
"A reasonable guess is that the person carrying a West African passport may be infected with HIV --infected from [this strain]
He took it to northern Thailand, where he passed it to a sex worker almost certainly.
Burke says a piece of meat is unlikely to have the ability to carry viruses across borders.
More likely, meat infections can occur in the same country where animals are killed.
"Once the animal is killed, I don't know how long the virus will survive.
My own guess is that people are much more likely to carry weapons for international communications. At around 8.
30 in the morning, Adjoa Asante * arrived at Atwemonom to pick up the goods for the day's inventory.
She has been selling jungle meat for 40 years.
A Saturday day (
She is on leave on Sunday)
She bought some meat from atwem onom and asked the porter to send it to her booth at the Central Market.
When Asante was young, her mother opened a pork ribs selling Fuhe soup.
Asante will sell it when there is extra meat.
That's how she started the business, and ultimately her seven children (
Four girls, three boys, all grown up)through school.
Her children will not do family business.
"They are all educated," Asante said proudly at Twi . ".
On the other hand, she plans to keep the booth running as long as she is strong enough.
She really doesn't eat jungle meat.
For 40 years she has been butchering it almost every day and at this point she is a little sick.
She prefers smoked fish these days.
Asante said business has been very slow for the past two years since the Ebola outbreak.
Just no need.
Although prices are falling, people are still not buying.
This morning, Asante did not hesitate to take out some duiker and grasscutter from her fridge and have a porter take it to her booth on the Central Market Hill.
Hill is the second position.
The handbag and shoe stall that are being set up, the drum fourfoot-tall sacks.
Asante strode past the missionaries, shouting through speakers, overloaded delivery trucks and air-transfer coaches heading for Accra.
She turned a corner and walked through a construction site that would eventually become a new multi-building home
The market complex on the ground floor plunged into the crowd considered to be the largest market in West Africa.
Her Duck Porter, carrying huge clumsy goods on her head, sneaked away from vendors loaded with goods, which upset her at the age of 64.
Almost everything that can be thought of is sold in the narrow lanes of the market, from vintage Kent cloth to freshly ground peanut butter.
A booth provides metal tools for picking cocoa (
One of Ghana's biggest exports).
They also sell animal traps: small traps that salesmen are happy to show with their hands, and huge chins worth 60 Cedar (about £11. 50).
Close to the center is the narrow driveway to the covered meat market.
Huge yellow bullhead stalls stacked outside, up to 350 Cedar (around £65).
Most cattle come from dry areas in the north of the country, where the climate is more suitable for raising them (
Some of them crossed the northern border by truck from bukinah Faso).
The butcher will slaughter 10 to 20 goats or cattle at a time, separate them with a blowtorch, and then slaughter them on the market.
Inside, fresh meat and ammonia smell the cool, dim market.
One table after another is full of raw beef and mutton.
The head and full set of feet of a mature goat cost about 25 Cedar, and the butcher swears with quality: "This meat is so delicious, people will smell your soup from far away, he said in Pidgin.
Asante came to the jungle meat alley behind the meat market.
The booth is full of lawn mowers (fresh, half-
The whole smoked until the meat is almost translucent)
Roast bush pig and duyk
She squatted behind a row of stalls to set up stalls.
The night before, she scrubbed the table and cleaned it in a small ditch built by jungle meat vendors to transport blood out of the booth.
Asante changed from a traditional fine cotton dress printed in primary colors to a worn-out jersey and a black top, replacing the expensive one on her head with a bright, cheap chiffon
Clothing changes take a minute.
She is ready to do business.
Asante put a blue plastic sheet on her desk and put her butcher block at one end, a whole piece that was ground into a smooth trunk by a knife and wire sponge.
She held out the hind legs of an antelope and began to slaughter a lemgras and preserve the internal organs.
It's hot outside and there's nothing to keep the meat cold except the occasional ice cubes.
Asante tried to keep it fresh: she put a bowl of ice blood on the cut of the meat-which made them look fresh and the cold kept the flies from flying. (
After lunch, she will rinse her fingers in the Blood Bowl. )
The only thing she thought she would sell immediately was the butcher.
If she sold out, she would have a porter bring more from Atwemonom.
It's about nine o'clock A. M. now.
Asante will stay here until six in the evening.
After that, any unsold meat will be returned to the refrigerator at atwem.
Asante will tidy up her booth, wash the blue plastic sheet, scrub the butcher's block and table again and get ready for the next day.
On the mountain of Atwemonom, the butcher douses the fire in the burning area and cleans the slaughter board.
Barekese, dozens of miles away, villages around Sunyani, and hunters near Konongo, will set out to trap.
They will wait for the night to fall, put the gun on, and then go into the bush.
A small portion of the meat that goes through the central market of Kumasi will eventually be packed in suitcases and shipped to the rest of the world (
About the jungle meat actually left its country of origin).
Although researchers found the ape foam virus in the jungle meat smuggled into the United States, kimoto, Ghana's chief veterinarian, insisted that few pathogens could survive the trip.
He believes that, like anthrax spores, the bacteria are rarely found on jungle meat.
Nevertheless, in most parts of the world, it is illegal for individuals to ship fresh meat-especially jungle meat. Ghanaian ex-
Pats and immigrants went out of their way to taste the taste of home with them.
The vast majority of them are legal: a small amount of fish, or dry cassava called gari, or a mixture of porridge called Tom Brown (
Named after Thomas Hughes's novel, as this is the first time a Ghanaian child has been sent to a boarding school favorite).
More ambitious gourmets Cook, freeze and pack food so it can survive 6 hours on a Boeing 747.
Some people even try to cover up the smell.
A grandmother forced the English grandchildren to fill their suitcases with stew and fish (
Stop talking to them if they raise objections)
Arrange food bags with a mixture of charcoal ash and zhangnawan.
If you want to bring some food back, you may be told that it is best to arrive by plane in a quiet time, just like the British Airways flight to London on Saturday night, few customs officers arrived on Sunday morning.
Airport security seems to be more concerned about drugs and terrorism when you leave Ghana-they are not looking for food.
Recently I interviewed a man who was caught on his way back to England by a bag full of kenkey (Sweet Ball-
Fermented Corn with steamed acid wrapped in corn Peel).
The Ghanaian police officer who searched his bag looked up and said, "Don't worry, I know Ken Ki in London is very bad. Go and enjoy.
"This article was first published by wellcom on Mosaic and Quartz.
This is copied here under the Creative sharing license.