Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has today backed a motion urging the government to ensure that when it introduces its proposed ban on trophy imports it covers all species whose trophies are imported into Britain.
The government has pledged to introduce a ban on trophy hunting imports, but concerns have been raised that the planned legislation doesn’t cover all species and will not be tough enough on those flouting the law.
Animals including zebras, reindeers and striped hyenas would all fall outside of the ‘sufficiently endangered’ category, and therefore fall outside of proposed legislation.
In a report published in 2019, the Guardian revealed that lion bones, leopard skulls and an ottoman chair’s elephant leather were among the 74 rare animal body parts legally brought into the UK in 2018.
The Early Day Motion, tabled by Sir David Amess and backed by explorer Ranulph Fiennes, seeks to put pressure on the government to introduce legislation that bans the import of all species whose trophies are imported into Britain, and calls for ‘an effective enforcement regime with tough punitive measures for offenders.’
Andrew Gwynne said:
‘I’m proud to be supporting this motion. Trophy hunting is cruel and barbaric, and we need to ensure that those who seek to profit from the killings of these beautiful creatures face tough consequences.
The government’s trophy hunting import ban has been a long time coming, and if the ban doesn’t cover all species including zebras and hyenas it will be totally unfit for purpose and shift the cruelty from one species to another.
We need to see robust legislation to ensure that these creatures are protected and send a message that Britain will not tolerate animal cruelty.’
Claire Bass, the director of Humane Society International recently said on the proposed legislation:
‘We are extremely concerned the government appear to be rowing back on their commitment to bring in the ‘toughest trophy-hunting rules in the world’ and end the ‘morally indefensible’ practice of trophy hunting.
Adding a caveat to imply that if a trophy is not ‘threatening the conservation status of a species abroad’ it could still be imported, would create a giant loophole and mean the legislation would provide no meaningful improvement on the status quo.
If Defra pursues this line, we could effectively end up with UK government-approved trophy-hunting. If the government plan to just repackage the old system, we cannot support them, or celebrate any progress for wildlife protection. We urgently need clarification on this important point.’