Inform local communities about disease risks from hunting and eating bat meat to reduce killing of bats
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Infectious diseases can be transmitted through the handling, preparation, and consumption of bats. However, hunters and vendors are often unaware of these risks (Harrison et al. 2011). Informing local communities about disease risks may discourage people from hunting and eating bats. However, this would need to be implemented with caution as it may also encourage negative attitudes and increase the intentional killing of bats to reduce the risk of exposure. See also ‘Inform local communities about the negative impacts of bat hunting to reduce killing of bats’.
Harrison M.E., Cheyne S.M., Darma F., Ribowo D.A., Limin S.H. & Struebig M.J. (2011) Hunting of flying foxes and perception of disease risk in Indonesian Borneo. Biological Conservation, 144, 2441–2449.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 2009–2011 in a rural region of southern Ghana (Kamins et al. 2015) found that after education about the disease risks from hunting and eating bat meat, fewer hunters intended to hunt bats in the future than before the education was provided. In response to a questionnaire, fewer hunters (1 of 4) stated they intended to hunt bats in the future after they were given education about the risks of diseases carried by bats than before (all 4 of the hunters), although sample sizes were small and the difference was not tested for statistical significance. In 2009–2011, each of four bat hunters was interviewed with the same set of questions before and after a brief education piece was provided including verbal explanations of the risks of contracting diseases carried by bats.Study and other actions tested