Thank you for contacting me about trophy hunting.
I appreciate the strength of feeling around this issue. Around a million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction and the abundance, diversity and connectivity of species is declining faster than at any time in human history. Ministers take the welfare of all animals extremely seriously and are committed to strengthening and supporting long-term conservation of animals both internationally and at home.
In 2019, the Government held a consultation on the scale and impact of the import and export of hunting trophies. Over 44,000 responses to the call for evidence and consultation were received and 85 per cent of responses were in favour of further action. The Government’s response to the consultation set out plans to ban imports of hunting trophies from thousands of endangered and threatened species.
The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill was introduced to Parliament in June 2022 as a Private Member’s Bill to ban the import of hunting trophies from around 6,000 species, including lions, elephants, rhinos, and polar bears. My ministerial colleagues and I were disappointed that despite the overwhelming support from MPs and the public, this Bill failed to progress through Committee stage in the House of Lords in the last parliamentary session. I understand that accepting the amendments proposed by Peers would have undermined the Government’s important commitment in this area.
The Government has also committed to working internationally on endangered species in our 25-year plan to protect and improve international biodiversity. You can read this here: 25 Year Environment Plan - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
I am aware of the campaign in relation to the King’s Speech and trophy hunting. While I have noted your comments about this issue, I would like to assure you that the Government remains committed to delivering on the manifesto pledge to ban the import of hunting trophies, and Ministers will continue to explore ways to bring this forward. I will continue to monitor this closely.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.