Drivers of bushmeat consumption and perception of zoonotic disease risks in a Nigerian wet market

Iwajomo, S. B.1* and Ogunsola, A. C.1

Keywords: Alternative protein, Bushmeat consumption, Divers, Zoonotic disease risk
Published in Volume 24

Bushmeat trade has been documented as one of the causes of wildlife depletion and population decline and it is also implicated in the transmission of zoonotic diseases. This study investigated the factors influencing bushmeat trade and the perception of zoonotic disease transmission among vendors and buyers of the commodity at the Oluwo Market, Epe, Lagos, Nigeria. Data was collected using 150 structured interviewer-administered questionnaires through the KoboCollect survey tool between February and October 2022. Results revealed that the top three bushmeat sought after were Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus), Pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) and Antelopes. There was no significant association between household income and bushmeat consumption pattern (p>0.05), rather non-financial factors namely taste, aroma and cultural customs were the main drivers of bushmeat consumption. Most occasional consumers (67%) would choose cheaper alternative protein sources over bushmeat. However, price increase will not deter purchasing in both groups. The lack of knowledge regarding disease transmission through contact and consumption of bushmeat was high among sellers (79%) and buyers (47%). The use of hand protection like gloves was uncommon when handling animals. Establishing safety standards among buyers and sellers is urgently needed, along with public health education to address zoonotic diseases risks.