Trophy Hunting

Trophy hunting is the practice of killing animals and displaying them as trophies. This frequently debated topic can create polarising views and debates, but by far the majority of the British public wants to see a ban on trophy hunting and especially the UK’s role in this blood sport.  

As part of its 2021 Action Plan for Animal Welfare, the Government promised to deliver the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Private Members Bill. However, this Bill was dropped in October 2023 after running out of time in the House of Lords. We were pleased to see a new iteration of the Bill introduced by John Spellar MP, but this has now also fallen due to the General Election.

For the sake of the thousands of animals killed due to this so-called sport, we must ensure a new Bill is introduced and passed as quickly as possible after the General Election.

What is our policy on trophy hunting?

We want to see a total ban on the import and export of hunting trophies into the UK, with no loopholes that may assist in the covert trade of animal parts.  

We will fight against any pro-trophy hunting amendments, such as a ‘conservation enhancement exemption’. This would allow UK trophy hunters to import the parts of critically endangered species like the black rhino, arguing that the money used to fund the hunt promotes the conservation of the species. 

We will demand that captive bred animals, such as those in the canned hunting industry, are not left behind. More than 8,000 captive-bred lions are kept in more than 250 breeding facilities in South Africa, and we cannot allow the UK to be complicit any longer. To kill a lion that cannot escape and has been hand-reared and taught to trust humans is not a sport, it is a slaughter. You can read more about our work to end big cat farming in South Africa through our Vicious Cycle Report

The current state of affairs

In 2021, the Government promised to introduce one of the toughest bans on hunting trophy imports in the world, encompassing nearly 7,000 endangered and threatened species.  

Six months later, Henry Smith MP for Crawley tabled a government-backed Private Member’s Bill: The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill. After successfully passing through all stages in the House of Commons, the Bill was sadly dropped in October 2023 after being held hostage in the House of Lords at Committee Stage by a handful of pro-hunting Peers.

A new iteration of the Bill was introduced by John Spellar MP, which successfully completed its Second Reading in the House of Commons and secured Government backing. However, due to the General Election being called, this Bill also sadly fell.

We must now urgently secure a new version of the Bill and ensure it passes through Parliament as quickly as possible.

How you can help 

Please urge your parliamentary candidates to Crackdown on Cruelty and pledge to ban the import of hunting trophies into Great Britain if elected”

Animal Charity

A new report supported by FOUR PAWS has busted 14 of the biggest myths put forward by the trophy hunting industry. The powerful report, which is also supported by Born Free, Jane Goodall Institute, Pro Wildlife and the African Sanctuary Alliance can be read here.

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