By Dan Collyns
The trade in ‘bushmeat’, or the meat of wild animals, is thriving in Peru’s Amazon region. Peruvian law allows indigenous people to hunt for their own consumption, while selling the meat is banned. However, in markets across the region bushmeat of endangered species is openly for sale.
Indigenous tribes in the Amazon have always eaten what was at hand as a way to survive. And even though people are now eating meats such as chicken, pork, beef, bushmeat is still widely available.
In the city of Iquitos, the law clashes with tradition. At the city’s Belen market, you can find everything from wild pig, alligator to tortoise meat for sale.
Authorities seldom intervene, and many native tribes also say it’s outsiders who are emptying their forests of game.
Prosecutors said even though no one has been jailed for the crime, the law allows for sentences up to six years. Since enforcement can be difficult in a region that larger is larger than Germany, the focus is on education, they said. Video.