The term ‘bush meat’ is used to denote meat from wild animals that have been hunted illegally, which aside from being used for personal consumption, is often sold commercially. The bush meat trade has long been recognized as a severe threat to wildlife populations in the forests of West and Central Africa and is considered a conservation crisis in that biome.
\ Hunting of wildlife is regulated in most African countries through wildlife legislation and permitting systems which specify restrictions on the times and places that hunting is permitted, the species that may be hunted and the hunting methods that may be used. The large majority of hunting for bush meat contravenes one or more such restrictions. Snaring is the most common illegal hunting method and is particularly undesirable from a conservation perspective as it is highly effective, difficult to control, unselective in terms of the genders or species of animals captured, wasteful, and has severe animal welfare implications due to the manner of capture and confinement, and frequent incidents of severe, non-lethal wounding of wildlife. Other common bush meat hunting methods include the use of rifles, muzzle-loaders, shotguns, dogs, fire, and in some cases, gin traps, pitfall traps and poison.
There are increasing populations in African cities, and growing African populations in international cities which drive further demand for bush meat. Bush meat in urban centers is considered a luxury product which attracts prices higher than those of alternatives. Increasing local, national and international demand for bush meat is