Hunters in Rural Liberia reported to be defying the government’s restriction on the continuation of bush meat hunting. Bush meat hunting and eating are reportedly on the high increase in Kpain District, Nimba County- a situation that has the propensity to undermine the efforts of the government to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus disease from the country.
A can be recalled that the Executive Branch of Government,headed by the President, issued an order against bush meat, selling and eating across the country.
Eating bush meat, especially monkeys and bats is a means of transmitting the Ebola virus. The Executive Order threatened prosecution, in accordance with the law, of anyone caught hunting bush meat across the country.
The reported defiant posture by hunters in Rural Liberia may be against the backdrop of reported decline in the spread of the Ebola disease, as well as the number of cases and death- something the hunters may be misunderstanding as the complete eradication of the disease. The deadly Ebola virus, which hit Liberia a year ago from neighboring Guinea, gas killed about 8,000 people in three West Africa, mostly Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. More than 3,000 Liberians have been killed by the disease.
A spokesman for the hunters informed this paper that their action to continue hunting bush meat was in line with a specific mandate from the government. According to Mr. Edward Ben of Kpain District in Nimba County, the government named specific animals such as Monkeys, Baboons and chimpanzee that should not be killed and eaten. “No one can disobey the government order, but this is what we do for living; we, as hunters, cannot sit and allow hunger to killed our families only because of Ebola,” Mr. Ben noted.
He pointed out that the emergence of Ebola in Liberia was something shocking to every citizen, indicating that the government’s action to ban every hunter from killing, hunting and eating bush meat has the ability to weaken decrease their life span by bringing more poverty to their families. According to him, if the government really wants every hunter to desist from hunting bush meat, the opportunity must be created for more jobs.
By Lewis S. Teh