More good news for wildlife
The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Lords.
The stark reality
British hunters have brought home approximately 25,000 hunting trophies since the 1980s such as elephants, leopards, giraffes, bears, primates, and hippos, to name a few.1 These beautiful, majestic creatures are being cruelly hunted for ‘so-called’ sport and their body parts displayed as trophies. This is not only immoral, but also inhumane and a threat to the survival of many endangered species.
The suffering of wild animals at the hands of hunters is unimaginable. Animals shot by hunters do not die immediately but suffer for hours before hunters recover their bodies. Other methods of hunting, such as bow hunting, subjects wild animals to slow, painful deaths – as was the case of Cecil the Lion.
Whilst we cannot stop other countries from permitting cruel trophy hunting, we can stop hunters returning to the UK with their trophies. We can show the world that the UK does not support it. According to a 2021 poll, 85% of the public agreed that the UK government should ban trophy hunters from bringing back trophies of hunted animals as soon as possible.2 Parliament must continue to listen to the public.
What did Lords have to say?
We were happy to see so many Lords support the Bill.
Baroness Fookes stated,
"We have a part to play to ensure the conservation of these precious species" and further, "I believe that this bill is important and long overdue."
Baroness Jones of Whitechurch said,
"The bill also has huge public support. The British people in numerous polls have made it clear they don’t want the UK to contribute to the suffering and inhumane killing of declining and endangered wild animals in overseas trophy hunts any more. For example, recent polling shows that nearly 90% of people support a trophy hunting ban with 76% wanting a ban applied to all species."
And Lord Selkirk of Douglas said,
"Passing this bill is our way of making a contribution to the preservation of the amazing variety of animals with which we share this earth. We are telling the world that we will not facilitate in the taking of an already endangered life for pleasure."
However, we were disappointed that some Lords spoke against the Bill.
Lord Remnant said,
"The poaching and illegal wildlife trade is the fourth most lucrative international crime after drugs, arms and human trafficking. As a result, the African elephant population has fallen by 30% in the past 7 years due largely to poaching. Trophy hunting reduces this threat as the operators generally invest in the anti-poaching activities which protect both hunted and non-hunted species."
Lord Bellingham said,
"Those communities in those areas, many of them, if they don’t have jobs around this type of activity, around big game hunting, around conversation. They will want to look at other alternatives like much more intensive farming, which will eat into the countryside and have a negative impact. They might even be less keen to control poaching."
The Bill will now move to Committee Stage where it will be examined in greater detail and amendments (changes) to the Bill that have been proposed by the Lords will be considered.
We will keep you updated on further developments.
We will continue to fight for wild animals to live a life free from cruelty and suffering.
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