Conservationists and campaigners have urged the government to press forward with proposals to prohibit the import of animal hunting trophies sooner rather than later.
The government announced the ban in its long-awaited response to a public consultation on the topic on Friday. However, it did not specify when the legislation would be tabled.
Every year, trophies manufactured from hunted lions and elephants are imported into the United Kingdom.
Every year, hunters from the United Kingdom come to southern Africa, where they pay thousands of pounds to lawfully hunt lions and elephants. They can then return to the UK with trophies such as stuffed heads or horns if they have the proper documents.
Environment Secretary George Eustace stated the amended policy will go further than originally promised when announcing the details.
The import restriction would apply to over 1,000 species, including zebra and reindeer, in addition to endangered and threatened species. According to the latest, incomplete data, elephant tusks, hippo skulls, lions, baboons, and giraffes were among the trophies legally brought back to the UK from southern Africa in 2020, despite the epidemic prohibiting travel.
According to the official data, 335 recorded imports of trophies from animals protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora occurred between 2015 and 2019.
The Conservative Party’s 2019 election manifesto and the Queen’s Speech that followed included a prohibition on the import of hunting trophies, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has highlighted multiple times in Parliament.
Labour MP John Spellar will introduce a private member’s bill to prohibit the import of trophies, but it will have little chance of passing without the support of the government.
Despite the fact that 86 per cent of the 44,000 responses to the public consultation called for tighter restrictions on hunting trophy imports and a ban has bipartisan support in the Commons, some conservationists argue that hunting provides funds that can be used to protect endangered animals and their habitats.