North East Fife MP, Wendy Chamberlain has joined fellow MPs and conservation groups from across the UK, calling on the UK Government to ban imports of hunting trophies into the country, without delay.
Ministers have released details of a proposed bill to ban the import of hunting trophies, but the government has not provided a date for when the bill will come to parliament.
New figures provided by the APPG on Trophy Hunting reveal that, despite COVID, British trophy hunters still killed some of the world’s most threatened animals in 2020, including lions, elephants, hippos, giraffes, leopards, bears and zebras.
Data from CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) shows that British hunters shoot on average 200 endangered animals a year. Animals shot recently by British hunters include polar bears, rhinos, wolves and wild cats. While UK Government ministers say the bill to ban trophies has been delayed due to lack of time.
Wendy Chamberlain said: “It’s long overdue to bring this barbaric trade to an end. Eighty-five percent of people in the UK want to see a ban on trophy imports.
"We are calling on the government to bring this bill to Parliament as quickly as possible. The longer it delays, the more animals are killed for so-called sport, selfies and unsavoury souvenirs.”
Downton Abbey star Peter Egan supported the MP’s call, saying: “We’ve just had the COP summit in Glasgow where politicians discussed how to save wildlife such as polar bears that could go extinct from climate change. Yet trophy hunters are still allowed to shoot polar bears and bring their bodies back to Britain. It’s utter insanity.
“This Christmas, the government can give defenceless animals the gift of life by either publishing its bill or adopting John Spellar MP’s private members bill instead. There is no justification for delaying any further.”
Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, added: “It has been two years since the ban was promised in the 2019 Queen’s Speech. Another 300 animals at risk of extinction have been killed by British trophy hunters since then. The Government should be moving as swiftly as possible to stop this terrible trade.
“The Government recently adopted Liam Fox MP’s bill on providing lifelong care for people with Down’s Syndrome, in order to bring the law into effect. It should do the same with John Spellar MP’s bill to ban trophies. Delaying action costs lives of some of the world’s most threatened animals.”