Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Help end trophy hunting imports and exports in the UK!

Posted: 8 January 2020. Updated: 24 January 2020

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Trophy hunting is a cruel pastime that needs to, and the public wants to, end. The individual animals targeted suffer a painful, and often slow, death – like Cecil the lion – and their loss impacts negatively on their surviving family members. The staggering and ongoing decline of wildlife species blowing apart killing for conservation claims, trophy hunting also provides both an avenue and cover for the illegal wildlife trade.

So, what can we do to stop the trophy hunters?

In the UK, the government has pledged to “bring about the toughest trophy-hunting rules in the world” and is seeking YOUR views on what measures to take through a public consultation.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY and join Animal Defenders International in calling for a total ban on the import and export of hunting trophies in the UK.

To help you respond to the government consultation, we have provided suggested responses below. Of the four available options, ADI is supporting, and calling on the public to support, “Option three: a ban on all hunting trophies entering or leaving the UK”. The alternative options are a ban on hunting trophies from just certain species, stricter requirements, and to maintain the status quo.

With the Conservative Party standing on an election pledge to “ban imports from trophy hunting of endangered animals” it is likely to favour a ban on certain species only. ADI believes however that NO ANIMAL SHOULD BE HUNTED AND KILLED FOR FUN. If you agree, please call for Option three – a total ban.

Act NOW against trophy hunting!

ADI SUGGESTED CONSULTATION RESPONSES:

Consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies
https://consult.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-management/trophy-hunting-consultation/consultation/intro/

Click on the above link to take part in the government consultation and to call for a ban on the import and export of hunting trophies in the UK to be introduced, using the following responses that have been prepared by ADI (which can also be downloaded as a word document here). As indicated, after including your personal information, please answer questions 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

Thank you for taking action to help stop trophy hunting.

Questions 1 – 4
Add your 1) name, 2) email address, 3) that responding as an ‘Individual’, and 4) whether you want your response to be confidential.

Question 5: Is there anything you would consider to be a hunting trophy that falls outside of the definition found in CITES and the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations?

Suggested response: Select “Yes” and where requested for more information, add the following wording:

Both the EU regulations and CITES definition cover only trophies from certain animal species and do not take into account those illegally hunted or acquired. The definition of a hunting trophy should apply to all animals, whether legally killed or otherwise. This includes animals who are captive bred for trophy hunting, an industry known to drive both legal and illegal hunting and fraught with welfare issues.

Question 7. Do you envisage any challenges or difficulties which might arise from using the definition in CITES and EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, for example, when it comes to enforcement?

Suggested response: Select “Yes” and where requested for more information, add the following wording:

Difficulties would arise because trophies from species not listed would be
excluded from any new restrictions.

Question 8. Please state your first and second preferred option:

  • Option one: A ban on hunting trophies from certain species entering or leaving the UK.
  • Option two: Stricter requirements for clear benefits to conservation and local communities to be demonstrated before hunting trophies from certain species are permitted to enter or leave the UK.
  • Option three: A ban on all hunting trophies entering or leaving the UK.
  • Option four: Do nothing - continue to apply current controls based on internationally agreed rules.
  • None: Please suggest any alternatives.

Suggested response: Select “Option three: A ban on all hunting trophies entering or leaving the UK” as your first preferred option and “Option one: A ban on hunting trophies from certain species entering or leaving the UK” as your second preferred option, and add the following wording:

First preference: The import and export of ALL hunting trophies should be banned (Option three).

Trophy hunting is cruel, with hunters frequently failing to kill animals with a single shot, resulting in a slow and agonising death. Alternative methods of killing hunted animals, such as using a bow and arrow, or a spear, also increase the likelihood of prolonged suffering. For canned hunts, animals are bred to be killed and after being prematurely separated from their mothers, their basic needs are restricted or denied in captivity.

Trophy hunting negatively impacts genetic diversity, animal populations, and species survival, with the rarest, biggest and most spectacular animals targeted. Throughout African countries where trophy hunting occurs, there are significant declines in key species such as impala, buffalo and hippopotamus, as shown by the IUCN.

Trophy hunting encourages poaching by providing a cover for illegal trade in animal body parts under the guide of legality. The UK has been known to play a huge role in this trade, both directly and by acting as a major transit route.

Trophy hunting does not benefit local communities, with only 3% of income reaching local people. Trophy hunters are a wealthy minority and the money they spend goes to a very select few.

Wild animals are worth more alive, tourism offering local communities self-sustaining, self-directed economies, not those dominated and benefitting primarily foreign interests like trophy hunting. Families and other tourists spend more money and disperse it more widely.

Negative impacts of trophy hunting in sub-Saharan Africa were identified in a 2016 US House report, with “many troubling examples of funds either being diverted from their purpose or not being dedicated to conservation in the first place,” and “no merit to claims that hunting deters poaching.”

Andrew Loveridge, the researcher who was studying Cecil the lion before he was killed in 2015, states: “In reality, hunting greatly undervalues African wildlife. That is not to say that people do not become rich through hunting. They do. But little of the financial gain filters down to covering costs of conserving wildlife.”

Second preference: A ban on certain species entering or leaving the UK should be introduced (Option one)

In the event that the opportunity for a full ban (Option three) is not taken by the UK Government, as supported by a public majority, Option one could at least prevent the hunting trophies of endangered species from entering or leaving the UK. As a minimum, the ban should apply to species listed on the CITES Appendices and EU Wildlife Trade Regulation Annexes, and on the IUCN Red List considered threatened (Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered), Near-Threatened, or Data Deficient. The latter allows protection where the level of threat to species is not known.

This option would at least demonstrate that the UK finds it not acceptable to kill animals, internationally recognised as needing protection, for sport.

Question 9. Options one and two introduce further restrictions for specific species. Which species do you think these further restrictions should apply to?

Suggested response: Select “(C) Other, please specify” and then add the following wording:

As outlined above, a full ban on the import and export of hunting trophies in the UK – as supported by an overwhelming public majority – is the only way to eliminate the risks to species conservation, biodiversity, animal welfare and links to the illegal trade and poaching.

However, if restrictions are to only apply to specific species, contrary to the will of the public, they should as a minimum include all species listed on the CITES Appendices and/or EU Wildlife Trade Regulation Annexes, and species classified on the IUCN Red List as threatened (Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered), Near-Threatened, or Data Deficient.

Question 10. Do you think there should be different restrictions on hunting trophies imported and exported to and from countries within the EU, compared with countries outside of the EU?

Suggested response: Select “No” and add the following wording:

A ban should apply equally to all trophies regardless of which country they are imported from or exported to.

Question 11. Do you have additional information or evidence on:

  • Potential impacts of increased restrictions as set out in options one to three?
  • Potential enforcement problems which might arise as a result of using a definition of hunting trophy based on the one used in CITES and the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation?
  • Potential barriers to implementation for options one to three?

Suggested response: Paste the following wording under “Potential impacts of increased restrictions as set out in options one to three?”

A full ban (Option three) would provide the simplest solution for implementation and enforcement. A measure supported by an overwhelming majority of the British public, it would also recognise that the suffering of an animal is not dependent on the conservation status of their species. In comparison, Option two would require considerable resources to implement.

Question 12. In options one, two and three, do you think there should be different restrictions on hunting trophies obtained from; wild animals, animals that have been bred in captivity to be hunted, or animals which have been hunted in confined enclosures?

Suggested response: Select “No” and add the following wording:

A ban should apply to all animals, regardless of whether they are wild or captive bred. As the hunting of animals in the wild has detrimental welfare and conservation impacts, as previously outlined, so too does the killing of captive-bred wild animals.

In South Africa alone an estimated 8,000-12,000 predators, including lions, cheetahs, leopards and tigers, are bred and held in captivity for paying hunters to shoot. Animals on the farms have been found to suffer terrible conditions, neglect and disease.

The captive lion breeding industry – which supplies animals for canned hunting, tourism, meat and the bone trade– is “doing serious damage” to the country’s reputation, the country’s Committee on Environmental Affairs has concluded, with a report from the Department for Environment, Forestry and Fisheries outlining a range of conservation and welfare associated with the industry.

Question 13. For options one, two and three, do you think there should be any exemptions considered? Please state your reasons why.

Suggested response: Select “No” and add the following wording:

A full ban on the import and export of hunting trophies (Option three) should be brought in with no exemptions. This reflects the will of a public overwhelmingly opposed to trophy hunting and will set a critical example for other countries to follow, helping to counter the current harms this cruel pastime has on species conservation and animal welfare.

© Animal Defenders International 2020