Gamebirds : a sustainable food source in Southern Africa

Geldenhuys, Greta ; Hoffman, Louwrens C. ; Muller, Nina (2013-02)

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

The original publication is available at


In order to alleviate the current food security situation the world is faced with, it is essential to investigate meat sources which have the potential to be used in a sustainable manner. This review provides substantial arguments to prove the viability of sport hunted wildfowl as a food source in Southern Africa. However, before the use of wildfowl meat can be realised, there are certain challenges to overcome in order to ensure meat of the best possible quality reaches the consumer. Important aspects to consider regarding the eating quality of wildfowl meat are identified and include the physical activity of the different portions and muscle fibre types, diet, breeding, age and gender as well as the post mortem handling/ageing of the meat. The safety issues involved in producing gamebird meat i.e. shot contamination (microbial or lead), are also discussed. Other areas that warrant scientific research include investigating the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that may have an influence on the ultimate meat quality and exploring possible techniques of improving the eating quality of wildfowl meat. The insights these investigations will provide have the potential to increase the commercial viability, directly or indirectly, of African wildfowl meat and thus contribute to food security.

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