Hunting of wild animals for food (bush meat) is a steeply increasing and worrying trend in Africa and South America. Population increases lead to growing demand, agriculture and the keeping of domestic animals often fail or are abandoned due to wars, and large wildlife populations are there for the taking. Traditional taboos against the hunting of certain species are increasingly ignored in the face of hunger (or profit in the bush meat trade to urban areas), as are laws intended to protect wildlife reserves and endangered species.

The victims that receive the most media attention are the primates in the jungles of central Africa, for obvious reasons. However, the problem is not confined to primates, or to that area. Estimations of the total amount of bush meat killed each year vary between 2 and 10 million tonnes, and at least one species (Miss Waldron's Red Colobus monkey) has already been hunted to extinction.