“We are appalled at the thought of hunters bringing back trophies and placing more pressure on some of our most iconic and endangered animals.”
The UK government has announced plans to ban the importing of hunting trophies.
The decision is part of the threatened species’ conservation initiative and a wider plan to reverse biodiversity loss.
This ban will protect a range of species including nearly 6,000 animals that are currently threatened by international trade. It will also cover over 1,000 additional species which are considered near-threatened or worse, such as African buffalo, zebra and reindeer.
‘One of the toughest bans in the world’
The new measure was announced by Environment Secretary George Eustice today.
He said: “More animal species are now threatened with extinction than ever before in human history and we are appalled at the thought of hunters bringing back trophies and placing more pressure on some of our most iconic and endangered animals.
“This would be one of the toughest bans in the world, and goes beyond our manifesto commitment, meaning we will be leading the way in protecting endangered animals and helping to strengthen and support long-term conservation.”
Declining wildlife population
It comes after a government consultation and call for evidence showed clear public and conservation group support for tighter restrictions. 86% supported further action.
Nearly 60% of wildlife has declined in the last 50 years globally. The population of Africana savanna elephants has decreased by more than half whilst the number of African lions has dropped to just 20,000 in the wild in the last 20 years.
‘Wildlife needs this ban’
Conservation and animal advocacy groups welcomed the decision stating this is the ‘leadership we have been calling for’.
Eduardo Gonçalves is founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting. He said: “The government’s bill looks set to be the strongest ban in the world.
“Wildlife needs this ban. Endangered animals are cruelly and needlessly killed every day, and many of them are brought back to Britain as trophies.”
He added: “I urge the government to bring the bill to Parliament as soon as possible, and will be asking MPs and Peers to get behind it.”
Meanwhile, Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International UK said: “We welcome the Government’s commitment today to a UK hunting trophy import ban that will protect thousands of species…we also welcome that it has ruled out loopholes that would have allowed hunters to carry on shipping their sick souvenirs.
“We now urge ministers to expedite the introduction of this legislation, which will make going on holiday to kill endangered animals and bring home their body parts as legally indefensible as it is socially unacceptable.”
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