How to get an animal to shave their brows – a story of a bushmeat farmer
The bushmeat industry is booming in Australia, and the country is set to become the third-largest market for Australian cattle this year.
But not everyone is happy with it.
In the last two years, a number of countries, including China and South Africa, have banned the trade in bushmeat.
While this has resulted in fewer animals being slaughtered, it has also resulted in a rise in the number of illegal wildlife trade groups operating in Australia.
As we head into the summer, we wanted to look at the stories behind the meat that goes into Australian bushmeat, and ask what kind of impact it has on wildlife.
First, a quick primer: bushmeat is the dried meat of large mammals, including horses, sheep, goats and cattle, including cows.
It is eaten in Australia as a condiment, used as a cooking ingredient and as a source of protein.
“The term bushmeat has become somewhat of a misnomer in the US, where it is a term used for the dried meats of many wild animals, such as wild boar and deer,” says Stephen Wooten, a senior lecturer in wildlife at Monash University in Melbourne.
But, like in Australia the term bush meat is a misleading description of the meat of small mammals such as deer and cattle.
Wooten says Australia’s deer meat is not “bushmeat”, and does not require an exotic animal for its processing.
“It is a type of beef that has been produced in a very similar way, and has the same origin as other cattle in Australia,” he says.
And while there is still some debate about the origin of the cattle that are slaughtered for bushmeat in Australia today, there are some interesting findings.
Wildlife biologist Mark Goulson of the University of Melbourne says the origin may lie with a cattle herd in southern NSW that was imported from New Zealand.
His research suggests that the cattle from New Guinea may have been slaughtered from cattle raised in a nearby area and then exported.
Goulson also found that the meat was processed at a factory in New Zealand, which he says may have played a role in the cattle being exported.
But, according to Wootin, the meat in the bushmeat market does not need to be processed in New Guinea.
The cattle in question may be from a small group of small herds in New South Wales that were transported to New Zealand and were not properly slaughtered, he says, suggesting the meat may be made by farmed cattle.
“The vast majority of the bush meat sold in Australia is from farmed animals, but there are still small herds that are imported into Australia,” Wootan says.
“So the meat is likely to be made in New Guineas or other countries where there are farmed animal markets.”
The Australian Government and industry have tried to make sure that all beef in the country goes through the strictest of controls.
But some scientists say that, while the regulations may be onerous, they don’t stop the bush from going wild.
According to the Australian Government, up to 40 million tonnes of bushmeat may be exported each year, and that number could rise if beef prices continue to rise.
ABC reporter Sarah Young will be reporting from Adelaide on Wednesday.
Topics:food-safety,fisheries,animal-welfare,animal,horseshoe-7151,dwyer-7161,australiaFirst posted January 08, 2019 14:40:42Contact Nick HoggMore stories from New South Worts