A recent episode on MasterChef Ecuador garnered significant backlash after using wild animals as some of its ingredients.
The featured episode capybara, a type of wild deer, as well as tollo, a type of small shark. Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador it says, “rejects the promotion and dissemination of graphic or audiovisual content that encourages the purchase and consumption of wildlife or their constituent parts”.
Colombia also warned that the consumption of these wild species can be a offense punishable by imprisonment time and their Minister of the Environment, Carlos Eduardo Correa, opened an investigation into this matter.
Episodes like this can help promote the consumption of wild animals, which can be extremely harmful to the species and the environment. These animals are often victims of wildlife trafficking and should never be shown publicly as a cooking ingredient as this will only increase the number of poached and trafficked animals. As The National Animal Movement of Ecuador warned, using wild animals as ingredients in a public way can “normalize the consumption of protected animals, the ownership of which contributes to wildlife trafficking and the destruction of ecosystems”.
Fortunately, both governments are taking this matter seriously, which will hopefully deter others from following the TV show’s lead.
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