Trophy hunting is inexcusable and barbaric. But while the numbers of people who defend it are tiny, and in the minority, they are powerful and vocal. That’s why we need you to stand alongside us and the lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards who are in the sights of their hunting rifles.
We know this isn’t the first time we’ve asked for your help on this. We’ve had repeated commitments from the Government to ban hunting trophies from being imported into the UK. A promise was made in the 2019 Conservative Party election manifesto, in both the October and December 2019 Queens Speech, and in 2021 as well. This time, as the countdown begins to a general election, the Government must be held to account, and their promise must be delivered.
One of trophy hunting’s biggest myths is that the money it generates goes back into conservation and benefits communities. But this is far from the truth. The people behind big game hunting are businesspeople, who pay for the rights to shoot wildlife and charge their clients even more. They don’t respect wildlife – to them, it’s a commodity or a product measured in dollars. Animal populations in hunting areas suffer large-scale poaching, directly contradicting the argument that hunting revenue safeguards the protection and conservation of animal species.
And communities living alongside the hunting concessions are given crumbs from the hunting table. The industry’s contribution to the GDP of those African countries which allow hunting is tiny – on average just 0.04% or between 3-5% of the hunting revenue. This can sometimes amount to no more than US $0.30. 1
It has been estimated that Cecil, the lion killed in Zimbabwe by American trophy-hunter Walter Palmer in 2015, generated more money each week from being photographed by tourists, than the $55,000 Palmer paid to hang his head on a wall. Over his lifetime, a living Cecil could have brought in $1 million in tourism revenue.2
Wildlife shouldn’t be something that lives or dies depending on how much money you have. But for a small minority of people, it is just that.
Once they’ve paid to shoot a beautiful wild animal, they want to be able to hang that so-called trophy on the wall back home and reminisce about the day that they took that animal’s life.
Sir David Attenborough once said; 'Apparently there are still people who get a kick out of killing things and taking the lives of others, which is something I find incomprehensible'
'It brings a real sadness that some people think it's clever, or victorious or strong to take the life of something else.'
In the future, we will look back at trophy hunting and view it with the same disgust as we now do bear-baiting and cock-fighting. The arguments of that small posse of Peers in the House of Lords who blocked the last attempt to ban hunting trophy imports will be remembered with derision and as examples of thinking that belong in history
John Spellar MPs Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill is having its Second Reading in Parliament on 22nd March, and we need your support to help ensure it becomes law.