Thank you to all those who have contacted me about trophy hunting. We rightly consider ourselves a nation of animal lovers, but the things British trophy hunters do are shameful.
I support the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill introduced by John Spellar MP, a Private Members’ Bill which is due to receive its Second Reading on 22 March 2024. I will follow developments on this legislation closely.
I have long supported a ban on trophy hunting and the import of hunting trophies into the UK. I have long called on the Government to implement such a ban. It is a cruel and unjustifiable activity which can act as a cover for illegal poaching. Tens of thousands of animals are killed each year, purely for fun, so that people can take photos, dismember the animal, and bring home a souvenir.
I also believe the practice of canned hunting, where wild animals are bred in captivity specifically to be hunted and shot, is appalling.
These activities only help push endangered wildlife closer to extinction and bring unnecessary suffering to animals.
A report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in 2016 found that at least 1.7 million animal ‘trophies’ were traded between countries over the previous decade. Of this number, 200,000 trophies were from threatened species.
In my view, a ban should cover all species above ‘least concern’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. This would include species classed as vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered and extinct in the wild. I further believe that hunting holidays should not be legal.