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Jakarta Post

COVID-19 spoils appetite for wild meat

  • Agustinus Hari, Ganug Nugroho Adi and A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil

    The Jakarta Post

Tomohon/Surakarta/Jakarta   /   Sat, May 23 2020   /  12:43 am

Like any other Saturday, 41-year-old Roy Nangka patiently waits for customers at his stall at the Beriman Market in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, a market notorious for selling wild animal meat, from snakes to rats, bats and other critters.

In spite of recent studies linking wild meat consumption with the transmission of COVID-19 to humans, exotic animal meat-based cuisine remains a large part of Minahasan culture. But as countries wrestle with the loss of life and economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the knock-on effects are felt even at Tomohon’s markets.

Roy said he used to sell up to 200 kilograms of paniki (bat meat) every week, priced at around Rp 100,000 (US$6.80) per kilogram. But now he said he was lucky to sell 20 kilograms, for Rp 40,000 per animal.

“Locals eat paniki almost every day, but lately the number of consumers has been decreasing....