This is the South African phenomenon that is trying to contain “mad cow disease”

Julietta Linsmeth-Oberson found the mutated bear as a friend was cleaning her Riverton forest campsite, and decided to join the hunt. The hunters are among a small number of South Africans that have started up since 2011 to attempt to contain cases of “variant” livestock that led to the outbreak of “mad cow disease” in the late 1990s. The South African Veterinary Association estimates that about 100 million animals are subjected to testing, monitoring, and occasionally destruction every year.

The 200-year-old Huber’s Game Lodge has not exactly had to worry about the former human painters such as Frank Bock, but they did opt to start offering bear watching as a service, rather than ostrich spotting.

“If the hunters can control the livestock at risk, the economy should benefit from more meat,” executive Peter Boffa says. A recent study, however, found that growth in the meat industry may have been limited by the rabies outbreak in May. The meatpackers raised pigs and goats, and much of the meat and hides were exported. It’s not always easy to predict the impact of an outbreak and even if you can, the risk isn’t zero, Boffa says. “Any outbreak is unpredictable.”

Read more at www.The Variant Hunters.

[Featured image: By Jane Ceverka, © James Kirkup/PA Wire/AFP/Getty Images]

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