UK plans to ban animal trophies too slowly - Conservation groups

Campaigners and conservation groups have urged the government to act faster to stop the import of trophy hunting animals.

UK plans to ban animal trophies too slowly - Conservation groups

Campaigners and conservation groups have urged the government to act faster to stop the import of trophy hunting animals.

Esat Zorkun
Esat Zorkun
14 December 2021 Tuesday 13:25
1644 Reads
UK plans to ban animal trophies too slowly - Conservation groups

Friday's government response to the long-awaited public consultation was published. It promised a ban.

It did not name a date at which legislation would be introduced.

Each year, the UK receives trophies made from elephants and hunted lions.

Eduardo Goncalves, founder of Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, stated to BBC News that "the longer it goes on the more animals will be shot and brought back to Britain to be trophies."

"It's encouraging to see the government laying out its plans, but it's still deeply disappointing that we don't have a timetable."

Stuffed heads

Hunting parties from the UK often travel to southern Africa every year to legally kill elephants and lions.

They can bring back trophies such as stuffed heads and horns if they have the proper paperwork.

George Eustace, Environment Secretary, announced details of the bill and said that it would go beyond what was originally promised.

Not only would the import ban apply to endangered and threatened species, but it would also cover more than 1000 other species such as reindeer and zebra. Mr Eustace stated that this would be one the most difficult bans in the entire world and went beyond our manifesto commitment.

"We will lead the way in protecting endangered species and supporting long-term conservation."

According to the most recent incomplete data, 2020 was a year when, despite restrictions on travel, elephant tusks and hippo skulls, as well as lion, babyoon, giraffe, and lion, were some of the trophies that were legally returned from southern Africa to the UK.

According to the government report, there were 335 documented imports of trophies derived from endangered species of wild fauna and flora between 2015 and 2019.

The ban on trophy hunting "doesn’t protect animals."

When is poaching allowed?

Trophy hunting takes 'good genes out'

The Conservative Party's 2019 election manifesto included a ban on hunting trophies being imported. This was also mentioned in the Queen's Speech, which followed. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spoken several times in Parliament.

When Jacob Rees Mogg was asked when the legislation would reach Parliament in December, Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees Mogg answered: "In the fullness of Time."

John Spellar, Labour MP will present a private member’s bill on Friday that would ban import of trophies. However, it is unlikely to succeed without the backing of the government.

"The public will be rightly outraged at dithering and delay," Mr. Spellar stated.

"It's high time to end this evil trade.

"The government should allow my private member’s bill to proceed or quickly introduce its own legislation. However, 86% of the 44,000 responses to public consultation demanded tighter restrictions on hunting trophies imports and there is cross-party support for a ban in the Commons. Some conservationists believe hunting can provide funds that could be used to save endangered animals and their habitats.

Christopher Graffius from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation stated to BBC News that "this decision is a triumph over propaganda over science, and prejudice over evidence."

"What assistance will the government provide to replace the income from hunting in economically and environmentally-challenged communities around the globe?"

"This ban will be harmful to animals, people, and the land on which they live."

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