The bill to ban imports of hunting trophies in the UK from endangered and vulnerable species will be debated in the UK Parliament despite many delays and the failure to appear in the Queen’s Speech last month (where the government’s planned laws for the next few months are announced).
The Conservative Party in power promised this law in its 2019 electoral manifesto but it failed to present it so far. However, Conservative MP Henry Smith recently presented a Private Member’s Bill on this ban, and although these types of backbenchers’ bills hardly ever succeed, in June 2022 UK ministers have said that the government will support it. Henry Smith MP said: “Trophy hunting is barbaric and something the British public rightly finds repugnant. This Bill is supported by the Government and by opposition MPs alike and will put an end to these horrendous activities.”
Eduardo Gonçalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, said: “This really is a huge step forward for the campaign. We are on the brink of a historic victory for animals.” A series of Parliamentary events started in late June to mark the introduction of the Bill and to remember the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe seven years ago, one of the tragic events that sparked many campaigns around the world to ban trophy hunting.
The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill, if passed without amendments, will ban people from bringing body parts of endangered and vulnerable animals into the UK, including rhinos, cheetahs, and reindeer. It is not a total ban of all imports, though, as it does not cover all species, but this is a similar ban to the one the Netherlands approved in 2016, and the one Belgium approved this year.