Last week, FOUR PAWS UK, alongside other NGOs that have been fighting for tougher action on trophy hunting legislation, were dismayed to hear that Defra had announced that the Animals Abroad Bill, which would include legislation on Trophy Hunting, had been postponed indefinitely. The Animals Abroad Bill was proposed in Defra’s Animal Welfare Action Plan as an umbrella Bill that would tackle animal cruelty and support conservation efforts overseas. The Bill was set to include bans on trophy hunting imports and the sale and advertisement of cruel animal experiences such as elephant riding, in addition to bans on the sale and import of fur and foie gras.
For trophy hunting, this postponement is a massive blow as the Government first promised to introduce a trophy hunting ban in the Queen’s Speech in October 2019, in addition to pledging to ban the import of lion trophies as far back as November 2015. But now in November 2021 still nothing has been enshrined in law.
While we now must wait for the bill to be legislated, Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, a coalition which we are a member of, rallied on and provided evidence to the EFRA Select Committee who will be scrutinising the upcoming Bill.
A vast array of evidence was presented during the panel, with a second panel due to take place in the near future hearing from in-country representatives. We were pleased to see that a full ban on all hunting trophies was considered during the questioning, not only those belonging to endangered animals as had been proposed by the Government during earlier discussions, and we will continue to demand that this loophole is closed.
It is hoped that these panels will help frame a comprehensive and robust Bill that will meet our demands and put animal welfare first, showing the world that the British public will not stand for animals being cruelly killed for pleasure. With both a Private Members Bill posed, and a debate held at Westminster Hall, it is clear that a trophy hunting ban is wanted in the UK, both in and out of Parliament. FOUR PAWS UK will continue to campaign for its realisation and for trophy hunting to be outlawed once and for all.