Call on UK party leaders to support a ban on imports from trophy hunting

In 2015 the world expressed its horror at the killing of Cecil the lion. Conservative Ministers including Liz Truss and Rory Stewart promised to ban lion trophies. The ban never happened. Since then, British trophy hunters have brought back over 100 lion trophies, almost all of them lions bred in captivity and shot in enclosed areas. They include lion bodies, lion heads, lion feet, lion tails, lion skins, lion bones, lion skulls, and more.

In 2019, the Conservative Government pledged to ban imports of hunting trophies of animals such as lions, first in the Queen’s Speech of 14 October 2019 and then in its election manifesto in December. The government drafted the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill and asked Henry Smith MP and Baroness Janet Fookes to guide the ‘hand out’ bill through Parliament. The bill passed unanimously at every stage in the House of Commons. However the bill ran out of time, sabotaged by a tiny group of rebels in the House of Lords led by outspoken pro bloodsport peers who attempted to block the bill, in blatant disregard for democracy.

As many as 700 animals have been killed by British trophy hunters since 2019. They include African elephants, Russian bears, American cougars, Canadian wolves, Asian mountain sheep, as well as leopards, baboons, monkeys, giraffes, zebras, hippos, wolves, wild cats, and the Scimitar oryx - a species of antelope now extinct in the wild. The trophies include the whole bodies of bears; the feet of elephants and giraffes; the tusks of elephants and hippos; and the skins of leopards and zebras.

Time is running out for some of the world’s most important and endangered animals. Scientists have stated that trophy hunting has contributed to the dramatic decline in lion numbers - which have fallen by an astonishing 90% since the 1970s. Studies have also linked trophy hunting to declines of several other endangered species including leopards, cougars, gazelles and bustards.

Defra, the government’s Environment Ministry, held a comprehensive public consultation. Over 44,000 scientists, conservationists, African community leaders and members of the public took part. Over 85% expressed support for a trophy ban.

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