Event Report

Voices from the Ground: Reducing Risks in Tanzania’s Game Meat Industry

At the ‘Voices from the Ground’ Event in December 2023 Dr. Daniel Mdetele and Qudra Kagembe presented the work of the Alliance funded TRAFFIC project in Tanzania. The project deals with Reducing Risks in Tanzania’s Game Meat Industry: Developing a One Health model for Safe, Sustainable and Legal Supply. Dr Daniel Mdetele leads the TRAFFIC team as Senior Project Manager for Wildlife Trade and One Health at TRAFFIC’s East Africa programme office. Qudra Kagembe is the focal point for wild meat trade in TRAFFIC’s East Africa team, based in Arusha in northern Tanzania. He works currently on the USAID-funded Wildlife TRAPS project, implemented by TRAFFIC and IUCN, and ensures its links to the GIZ-funded project.

Quadra Kagembe presented on the unique situation in Tanzania regarding the consumption of game meat. In 2020, the Game Meat trade was legalised under the Game Meat Selling Regulations. The legislation process was motivated by several reasons: A reduction of poaching, access to alternative source of protein, employment opportunities and therefore income, the support of community-based conservation initiatives and additional income for the government. However, the legislation of game meat production is also associated with certain risks and concerns regarding human health and species protection. Qudra Kagembe elaborated specifically on the concerns regarding food safety, sustainability and the compliance with regulations and how TRAFFIC aims to reduce those risks. To this end, TRAFFIC conducts a comprehensive value chain and disease risk analysis, which above all provides helpful information on the critical control points.

Dr. Mdetele reviewed the analysis on the disease risks and the identified and existing gaps around risk management. Some other issues observed were the high demand for wild meat, limited research on hunting areas and wild populations designated for the harvest of wildlife and lack of institutional framework. The project gathers qualitative and quantitative data to develop recommendations for risk management while considering the importance of livelihoods, socio-economic motivations, and traceability. TRAFFIC furthermore enhances the supply chain management through a multi-agency engagement which includes frontline personnel from wildlife, veterinary and public health agencies, Tanzania’s Game meat Selling Advisory Committee and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. Finally, the results of a social and behavioural change survey were presented as well as the resulting target groups for specific campaigns such as radio talk shows and posters. In the open discussion and Q&A that followed, the regulation of hunting areas and seasons, the consideration of endangered species and the existence of an informal supply of wild meat (including illegal bushmeat) in parallel to the legal game meat trade were discussed.

Registered Alliance members can find the recording of the event in the members area under the Voices from Ground Thread in the ‘News & Community’ forum.