I am opposed to the cruel and barbaric practice of animal ‘trophy’ importation, and believe that the UK should follow the examples of France, Australia, and the Netherlands which have all restricted the ability of their citizens to import hunting ‘trophies’.
Killing animals to display their heads, horns, antlers or hides as trophies is cruel and unjustifiable, and only helps push endangered wildlife closer to extinction. That is why I support ending the import of wild animal trophies from threatened species.
Currently, the import of hunting trophies is legal as long as the animal is licensed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). However, the trade is exacerbating the decline of threatened species and causes unnecessary suffering to animals.
It is often used as a cover for illegal poaching as traffickers pass off illegal wildlife products as legal, and provides a loophole through which people are allowed to trade in the body parts of endangered animals.
The Government has held a call for evidence on ‘controls on the import and export of hunting trophies’, which closed on 25 January. It will now consider the evidence and decide whether to act to address impacts on the species involved and the ethical concerns surrounding trophy hunting. I look forward to reading the Government’s response to this call for evidence, which I hope will include a ban on the importation of animal ‘trophies’ into the UK.
I can assure you that I will continue to follow this issue closely and push for a ban on imports of hunting trophies.