A huge setback for a ban on import trophies to Great Britain
The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill was deliberately delayed on Tuesday 12 September by a minority of Lords seeking to stop it becoming from law.
We are disappointed and frustrated to see that the Bill has been delayed and could potentially expire due to lack of parliamentary time. If successful, this important Bill would ban the import of hunting trophies into Great Britain.
Update on the progress of the Bill
Yesterday, the Bill had its committee stage in the House of Lords which gave Lords the chance to propose changes (amendments) to the Bill.
There were over 60 proposed changes to the Bill and as a result, there was insufficient time for them all to be debated last night, ultimately delaying the Bill and putting it at serious risk of expiring.
This deliberate move to frustrate the Bill is despite the overwhelming public support for a ban. 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.1
The British public overwhelmingly supports a ban, the Government supports the Bill, and the House of Commons supports the Bill - it should not be held hostage to a small group of Lords trying to derail the legislation.
Why is a ban needed?
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 few2.
By allowing the import of hunting trophies, the UK is complicit in allowing this barbaric trade to continue and putting the very survival of these majestic creatures at risk. Introducing a ban on the import of hunting trophies is one ways the UK can play its part in stopping this appalling and horrific so-called ‘sport’.
The hunting lobby pushes a false narrative that money made from trophy hunting contributes to the livelihoods of local communities and to the conservation of endangered species. Most money made from trophy hunting does not filter down to communities as claimed by the hunting lobby and communities scarcely benefit from the profit. Similarly, most money claimed to benefit conservation isn’t reinvested.
The hunting lobby also claims that introducing this Bill is a form of neo-colonialism and Western countries telling African nations how they should use their natural resources. This is on the contrary - recent research has shown that many African people actually hold resentment towards trophy hunting because they see it as a neo-colonial practice that privileges rich foreigners in accessing and plundering Africa’s wildlife heritage.
In 2022, a survey carried out by World Animal Protection showed that three quarters of South African citizens agree that trophy hunting is unacceptable when wildlife-friendly tourism alternatives have not been fully utilised.3
This Bill has no jurisdiction in African nations and extends only to the UK. The UK can decide what can and cannot be imported into the country, we are not telling other nations what to do with their resources, we are not enforcing a ban on trophy hunting in African countries.
The cruel truth behind trophy hunting
Animals shot by hunters typically do not die immediately but instead suffer in agony, in many cases for hours, before the hunters recover their bodies. Some methods of hunting, such as bow hunting knowingly increase the likelihood of a slow, painful death - as in the case of Cecil the Lion. Cecil was shot with a bow and arrow, and endured excruciating pain for 10 hours before the hunter found him the next day and killed him for fun.
These beautiful animals deserve to live a life free from pain and suffering. If the UK truly considers itself as a leader in animal welfare, we must show that we will not import cruelty to our shores. Parliament must pass this Bill, tomorrow will be too late.
We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of the Bill.
If the UK truly considers itself as a leader in animal welfare, we must show that we will not import cruelty to our shores.