Friday, 4 December 2015

Say ‘NO’ if you are offered venison in Nepal

The forbidden fruit always lures a man. And that’s why most of the non-vegetarians are fascinated by the idea of eating a wild animal. But have you ever wondered how the meat is procured? How do the profit-makers kill the poor animals illegally and how they cheat the buyers?

Bardiya National Park, Nepal’s largest park in the plains, borders with Surkhet district notorious for illicit trade of wild animal parts – deer meat being one of the most frequently traded items.  

Chital (Spotted deer). Image by Mahesh Balasubramanian.CC BY 2.0
If you travel from Kohalpur of Banke to Birendranagar of Surkhet, you will come across a stop-over “Babai”, at the banks of Babai River. There are small tea and snacks shops dotting over the road-side that sell hot meals to the travellers stopping by. And if you are a regular customer, they will ask, “Would you like to taste venison?”

However, think twice before eating the meat of a wild animal. I must have travelled via Babai to Surkhet more than 30 times. And most of the times, the shop-owners ask me to taste the delicacy of the day. But every time, my answer remains the same. A blunt “No”.

The poachers spray lumps of salt on grass patches frequented by deer. Then they spray Thyodene on the patches. After few days of exposure to the sun, the odour of the chemical normalises and when the deer come to the patches, they eat the salty grass. Due to the grass laced with poison, they die on the spot. The poachers then take away the carcasses and make dry meat. The meat is sold at an exorbitant price.

Himalayan langurs. Image by user Gautam. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
However, if you are not a regular customer, chances are high that you will get duped. Instead of serving deer meat, they will give you langur meat. It’s sad that the langur population is declining as they get killed for the meat.

So, next time you are offered a plate of deer meat, say “No” and help save these beautiful species along with the innocent monkeys that get killed to replace deer meat.

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