In June 2022, I introduced the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill, which would ban British hunters from bringing body part ‘trophies’ of endangered and vulnerable animals into Great Britain.
I am very much aware that at the last General Election, I stood on a manifesto committing to ‘bring the ivory ban into force and extend it to cover other ivory-bearing species, and ban imports from trophy hunting of endangered animals.’ I continue to work with the Government and organisations including the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting and the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation to make this a reality.
By ending imports, we can send a strong message to the rest of the world that we do not tolerate the needless killing of rhinos, lions, elephants, and other species in the name of ‘sport’.
The evidence is clear across the globe that our global wildlife is in danger. In fact, over the last half a century we have seen a 60 per cent decline in global wildlife. Every year more animal species are threatened with extinction, and we must ensure that the UK plays no part in this deterioration. By enforcing a strict ban on trophy hunting imports, the UK can lead the way in supporting the conservation of endangered species, and protect wildlife overseas.
The Bill passed second reading in the House of Commons in November 2022, and passed committee stage in January 2023; I am delighted that on 17th March it successfully completed its Commons Third Reading and now goes to the House of Lords for approval.
I am grateful to the Crawley residents who continue to contact me in support of this and other measures to enhance animal welfare measures.
My late colleague, Sir David Amess, campaigned on this issue tirelessly. His dedication to this cause is very much in my mind when I speak on this important subject.