The British public’s patience is ‘up to eleven’ as backbenchers derail the nationally backed Trophy Hunting (Import Prohibition) Bill

An opinion piece by our Country Director 


MP Henry Smith’s widely backed Trophy Hunting (Import Prohibition) Bill this week disgracefully died in the water after facing shameless filibustering tactics during its committee stage in the House of Lords.  

 Over 80% of the British public, cross-party MPs and the Government itself had supported, nay demanded, this popular Bill, which had promised to protect a massive 7,000 at-risk species across the world. Whilst not actively stopping British hunters from being free to take part in gruesome hunts overseas, this Bill would have stopped their spoils from being transported into the United Kingdom. It offered a solid step towards a future that could see an end to the needless and barbaric cruelty of trophy hunting. 

 However, during the latest stage in its political journey in the House of Lords last week, a handful of just 11 pro-hunting backbencher peers took a metaphorical shotgun to this Bill, tabling dozens of ‘amends’ that have destroyed the progression of the Bill and derailed its purpose. 

 Their myriad of 64 tabled amendments was a wasteful course of action, politically unprecedented and wilfully taken by a minority of Conservative peers to prevent the Bill from becoming law. This classic tactic - where a subject is intentionally bounced back and forth through Parliament, in a bid to run out of time in session to discuss all points raised - has caused several Bills to become lost in political purgatory. 

 And this, tragically, is where this landmark Bill has fallen. Abandoned and unable to progress, despite the overwhelming support of cross-party MPs and the British public who want to see a fairer future for animals.  

 Thwarting the wishes of Parliament and impacting at-risk and endangered animals around the world, this move has only served to wear thin the patience of the British public who have tirelessly demanded an end to the UK import of hunting trophies. 

 With such widespread support, we hope the Government can seize control of their own backbenchers in the House of Lords and deliver this legislation as a Government Bill in the next Parliamentary session.  

 If they act fast, with power and certainty, there is still time for them to deliver on their promises and finally #GetTheBanDone. 


Sonul Badiani-Hamment

Country Director, 

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