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African bushmeat seizure in Chicago

July 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

CHICAGO, July 25 (UPI) -- Conservationists say Chicago has become a center of the trade in so-called bushmeat, which involves smuggling animal carcasses eaten by Africans immigrants.

The Chicago Tribune said Sunday that federal wildlife agents raided an African art store last month and seized a shipment of monkey heads and dead cane rats as part of an ongoing investigation.

The feds had no comment on the raid; however, conservation groups say meat from endangered and possibly diseased African animals continues to turn up in immigrant communities in the United States.

The Tribune said the seizure was the latest confiscation of meat being smuggled into the Chicago area from Africa.

"It's an important subculture for a number of people," said Crawford Allan, a spokesman for TRAFFIC, an international group that monitors animal trafficking. "But it just really isn't appropriate for this to happen in the U.S. There's a major conservation impact with this kind of meat."

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