Potentially anthrax tainted meat found for sale in the U.K.

Raids in Britain conducted by Trading Standards Officials have turned up potentially contaminated chimpanzee meat being sold in the United Kingdom.

The bush meat, which could potentially be infected with anthrax, tuberculosis, foot-and-mouth disease or cholera, was discovered in market stalls in the Midlands. Consumers there address the bush meat as special meat for a special ceremony, according to MediaIndia.net.

Bush meat products are not only consumed after importation, they are also used for medicinal purposes and as status symbols.

“Chimpanzee meat is rare, even in the markets of Africa," Marcus Radcliffe of the Zoological Society of London said, according to MediaIndia.net. "Up to 270 tons of bush meat a year could be smuggled from Africa to the UK and other European countries via French capital Paris."

Smugglers appear to give little thought to getting caught with the restricted products, often making little or no attempt to hide the bush meat being caught transporting it in suitcases.

Some of the meat is brought in disguised as other meat products like beef or lamb. It costs more than £20 per kilogram.

‘It is well known this practice is underway in the region but I was shocked to discover the meat that was tested was once a chimpanzee,” a government whistleblower told DailyMail.co.uk. “Dubious meat is often tested, and has turned out to be things like rats and vermin in the past – but chimpanzee is unbelievable.”