Danger looms as sales of rare grey parrots skyrocket at voodoo markets

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The World Animal Protection organization revealed that endangered African Grey Parrots and their body parts are being sold in the “fetish” voodoo market in Togo, West Africa.

They are sold to improve memory or prevent witchcraft, while ignoring the potential threat of zoonotic diseases from animals to humans.

Shocking images show that in West Africa’s largest traditional medicine or “fetish” market, the heads and feathers of African dead grey parrots are sold for religious purposes, mainly voodoo. The chiefs of these endangered birds are sold to consumers for their ingenuity because they believe they will improve memory or bring good luck. Their feathers will also be sold on the premise that they can help attract customers, bring love or help divorce, and in some cases can help their whole body.

It is estimated that in the past ten years, 900 endangered African grey parrots have been traded in this market alone. Voodoo has been widely practiced in the region. Although many practices are harmless, domestic consumers have strong demand for attached animal derivatives, which may have devastating effects on wildlife.

This type of wildlife exploitation can further threaten the conservation of this endangered species, which has already seen wild population declines of up to 90% in some African countries. It can also cause immense suffering to the parrots involved during capture, transport, sale, and slaughter. Previously released videotapes by the World Organization for the Protection of Animals have documented some of the cruel techniques used to capture African grey parrots for the foreign pet trade. These techniques are likely to overlap with faith-based use.

Experts warn that although there are reasons to be optimistic about the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is important to consider that there is a risk of future disease outbreaks in markets selling wild animals and plants around the world. At present, bird flu or bird flu is spreading across India. This has caused serious economic consequences. Thousands of birds have been culled. The World Health Organization is paying close attention to the impact of this situation on human health. This is a real issue.