Hundreds of kilos of bushmeat are seized by customs officers every week at France's largest airport, Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, near Paris.
In 2021, customs at Terminal 2 seized 36 tons of illegal products from wild species, mainly from Africa or Asia.
The bushmeat poses a risk to public health while also threatening biodiversity.
"Most of the time, on flights, 99% of the time, passengers do not have any proof. The customs authorities are therefore working to seize this merchandise to prevent it from entering the European Union and French territory", admits Adrien Clopier, Deputy Head of the Terminal 2 Brigade.
The ban also covers vegetable and plant products such as fruits and other items.
In most cases products are apprehended and then disposed of.
Repeat offenders and those transporting protected species are punished.
"I thought there was a tolerance for plant products. So today I am a little disappointed"... (...) "To go on all this trip and then have it all taken away from me. I'm a little disappointed. Well, we have to deal with it. The law is the law", laments Jean-Guy Kervasdoue, a traveler from Bangui in the Central African Republic.
On Wednesday, French authorities have launched an awareness campaign for travellers "on the health and criminal risks involved" in traveling with these products.
"....anyone who wants to bring back food, especially meat or live animals, is illegal, that it encourages poaching, that it is harmful to biodiversity and that it is punishable by up to three years of imprisonment and a fine of €150.000", announced French junior environment minister, Berangere Couillard.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), wildlife trafficking is worth 23 billion euros per year.