The Belgium Parliament unanimously passed a resolution on 24th March 2022 aimed to ban hunters from importing trophies of endangered and vulnerable species. In 2020 Belgium hunters brought home 154 animal bodies and body parts, and 16 kg of elephant tusks. Animals shot by Belgian hunters that year included lions, polar bears, African elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, crocodiles, serval cats, antelopes, and wild goats. This resolution is asking the Belgian government to stop imports like these from some species in the future, as the Dutch government did in 2016.
The resolution approved by Belgium’s lower Chamber of Representatives, and presented by the Socialist MPs Kris Verduyckt (Vooruit) and Mélissa Hanus (PS), requests that “the Federal Government instruct the member of the competent government to decide immediately not to grant authorization for the import of all the animal species mentioned in appendix A of European regulation n° 338/97, nor for the import of the six animal species listed in Schedule B of this Regulation: Southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum), common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana), argali (Ovis ammon), lion (Panthera leo), and white or polar bear (Ursus maritimus).”
Melissa Hanus MP said, “We must ban hunting trophies for endangered animals and act to preserve biodiversity and end the animal suffering associated with this phenomenon.” A survey revealed that 91% of Belgians were in favour of banning the import of such trophies into their country.
France and Australia have banned lion trophy imports in 2015, while the US maintains its 2008 ban on trophies of polar bears and cheetahs. British campaigners from Ban Trophy Hunting are now calling on the UK government to move ahead with its promised ban, which has stalled since details of the proposed legislation were set out in December 2021. The government says it is currently unable to find the time to schedule the bill despite a recent opinion poll showing that 92% of Conservative Party voters want the ban implemented as soon as possible.