Belgium bans trophy hunting imports to protect endangered species | Totally Vegan Buzz
UK moves to ban trophy hunting imports
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Belgium has taken a definitive step in protecting wildlife by approving a draft to ban the import of hunting trophies of endangered animal species.

It was put forth by Zakia Khattabi, Minister of Climate, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Green Deal.

The proposal aims to protect species typically killed for sport such as the hippopotamus, Southern white rhinoceros, African savannah elephant, lion, polar bear, and argali sheep.

The new rules also add to a current resolution regarding the issuance of hunting trophy permits and the ban on issuing permits for endangered or protected species.

Belgium is Europe’s 13th-largest hunting trophy importer of internationally protected species.

According to reports, it allowed 308 hunting “trophies” from nearly 40 protected species to be imported between 2014-2018.

Member of Parliament Kris Verduyckt, who was the first person to initiate the legislative proposal to ban hunting trophy imports in 2020, said: “I am glad that this hard work is paying off. Minister Khattabi is now fully translating my proposal into a bill and the entire Council of Ministers approves it.

“It’s time we really started protecting endangered species, trophy hunters prefer to kill the largest and strongest animals, the loss of which contributes to the disruption and decline of animal populations.”

Public reject trophy hunting

Trophy hunting is a sport that has long divided opinions. While communities that benefit monetarily argue that the sport helps to generate revenue for local communities and boost conservation efforts, growing public sentiment is against violating wildlife for human gains.

A 2020 Ipsos survey commissioned by HSI/Europe showed that 91% of Belgians oppose trophy hunting and 88% support a ban on importing any kind of hunting trophy at all.

“Belgium is leading the way for other countries in Europe already listening to calls from their citizens to consign the import of hunting trophies to history,” Ruud Tombrock, the executive director of the European arm of Humane Society International (HSI) said.

A 2023 pan-European poll conducted by Savanta in all 27 EU Member States also found that 83% of respondents strongly oppose the practice, with just 6% in favor.

While a strong majority (74%) support a national import ban, a similar percentage (73%) call for an EU-wide ban.

 “The next step should be an EU-wide ban on the import of hunting trophies from endangered and protected species, again reflecting the views of citizens across member states in the European Union,” Tombrock added.

Other European countries like the Netherlands, France, and Finland have also taken measures against trophy hunting. They have put restrictions on importing hunting trophies. Other countries like the UK, Germany, Italy, and Poland are also discussing implementing similar bans.

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