African Farmers Poisoning Lions Backfires in Jeopardising Human Health with Anthrax

We know that farmers, specifically cattle herders, use poison to kill predators such as the African lion. They do this by lacing the carcass of a cow with poison. This can have the effect of wiping out a whole pride of lions but in addition it also kills the vultures which feed on the carcasses of poisoned lions.

Ruppell's vulture
Rüppell’s vulture one of the 4 vultures species at critical risk. Photo: courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
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Almost half the vultures in Africa are on the brink of extinction simply because they scavenge on meat which has been poisoned by farmers.

Because vultures’ digestive tracts are extremely acidic their digestive system kills the spores of certain diseases such as anthrax which infest the carcasses of dead animals on the African Savannah.

This helps to contain diseases such as anthrax and therefore the vulture provides a service to humans. There is the occasional outbreak of anthrax which kills humans. The disease is passed to humans through contact with animals or eating infected meat.

You could argue that this is an example of “what goes around comes around”. Carelessly poisoning precious wild species to protect cattle can, I suppose, be understood because farmers are desperate to survive in a difficult environment but the consequences often go far beyond those envisaged by the perpetrators. It is an ignorant and crude way to proceed.

There are many alternatives to poisoning lions which is itself a species rapidly heading towards endangerment and in the long-term possible extinction.

It is up to local governments or the national government to find alternatives which protect both cattle and lions allowing both to live in relative harmony. This will entail the commitment and involvement of cattle herders and farmers and it will involve an educational programme.

Scaring lions away, simplistic as it sounds, is effective and is a good alternative to killing them. This is just one example.

6 thoughts on “African Farmers Poisoning Lions Backfires in Jeopardising Human Health with Anthrax”

  1. Gail/Woody,you are an idiot! Cats do not spread Anthrax,sheep do. Humans are the most destructive animals on Earth. But biased reports will not tell the truth because they know ignorant people like you,sheeple,believe whatever they say and so willingly spread the manure around for them.People who are paid by the government and other groups with an agenda,will espouse in their findings whatever their employer tells them to find. Once again,humans doing stupid things out of ignorance, is now hurting them.If cats are an invasive species then so are humans,cattle,dogs,sheep,and a host of others. Nature does fine w/out human intervention. Maybe some species are meant to die out and new ones take their place. The natural world,with its predators and prey animals makes adjustments quite well without us.But humans who fear or do not understand the other species or natural world will destroy it out of greed,ego,and ignorance. Yes,people like you who have to scapegoat other animals are the real problem. When you look in the mirror you’re looking at the problem. Your putrid attitude is the real problem.

  2. Now they have to worry about any stray house-cats — that happily spread anthrax to humans and all other animals that the infected house-cats come in contact with.

    • Give me an example of anthrax being passed from domestic cat to human. I don’t believe it can or is passed that way. Give us a break for God’s sake.

      • Are your fingers broken and you don’t know how to use a search engine? Go ask the CDC who list anthrax as one of the 3dozen+ deadly diseases (many of which are listed as bio-terrorism agents for having no vaccines against them) that cats are spreading to humans and all other animals today. Including your beloved lions (and all other big-cats, including endangered Florida Panthers) that are dying-off from house-cat spread feline-specific diseases.

        Your denial runs deep. It’s clear by what you can’t even face reading let alone letting your readers know.

        I’d ask where your keep your head, but that is clear. A bliss of self-inflicted ignorance is a wonderful thing, isn’t it. Shove that head of yours deeper, it’s not deep enough yet. 🙂

      • Michael, I believe it’s time to ban Woody/Gail. You’ve been more than patient with that moron. We all know what its true purpose is here on this site.


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