Hunting practices and heavy metals concentrations in fresh and smoked wildmeats in Kumasi, Ghana
The consumption of bush meat is currently a common practice in sub-urban and urban communities of Africa. The study investigates hunting practices and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Fe, Pb, Cd and Mn) concentrations in fresh and smoked bush meats in Kumasi, Ghana. The animal samples were obtained from Sekyere Dumase, Atwemunom and Central Markets. A total of 32 samples from various game animals were used for the study. The samples were wet digested and analyzed using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. The use of guns (68%) was the most applied method of capture followed by cutlasses (10%), dogs (4%), traps (2%) and baits (2%). In the fresh meat, the concentration of Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb was 12.72±2.56mg⁻kg 5.16±2.65mg⁻kg, 0.96±0.29mg⁻kg, 7.40±0.68 mg ⁻kg, 0.10±0.00 mg ⁻kg and 4.31±3.46 mg ⁻kg respectively while in smoked meats, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb were 15.28±2.29 mg ⁻kg, 5.33±0.98 mg ⁻kg, 0.94±0.98 mg⁻kg, 7.39±0.57 mg ⁻kg, 0.1±0.00 mg ⁻kg, 0.07±0.00 mg ⁻kg respectively. Higher amount of Lead (Pb) was found in the fresh wild meat than in the processed. The levels of Zinc in both the fresh and smoked bush meat were high while Mn, Cu, Fe and Cd in both fresh and smoked meats were in the acceptable range recommended for human consumption. However, there is need to monitor the levels of heavy metals in bush meat in relation to the hunting practices so as to avoid any possibility of poisoning to human health.
Keywords: Heavy metals, Bush meat, Hunting, Ghana, Health