Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Trophy Hunting Imports — [Stewart Hosie in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 2nd October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire 2:30 pm, 2nd October 2019

Yes, I absolutely agree with my right hon. Friend. We must put a ban on everything that makes more species endangered, and we should be regulating and being very careful about what we do or do not allow into this country. As I said earlier, we are supposed to be a nation of animal lovers.

The times we are living in and the threat facing all wildlife demand a clear moral response. Things need to change so that live animals are better for the economy than dead ones. I understand that the US had a total or near-total ban when Obama was President, but the current President has decided to release the pressure and to allow some trophy hunting. I understand that that is because two of his sons like trophy hunting. That is something that should not happen in America. It should not happen here. It should not happen in Europe. It should happen nowhere.

I am fortunate to have seen many lions and other endangered species in various African countries, but I want my grandchildren and their children to have that privilege too when they are old enough to travel. We can visit a zoo, but that is such a poor relation, compared with seeing a lion, or any animal, living in freedom in its own natural environment. David Attenborough has spoken about the animals in Africa and other places, and indeed in the oceans, and his programmes whet the appetite, but unless we stop all trophy hunting, those beautiful animals will disappear from our reach, as many very nearly have.

I have a series of questions for the Minister, following the Government’s welcome announcement at the weekend, and I know he will listen hard to them. Which animals will be covered by the trophy hunting imports ban? When will it come into effect? Every month we take to pass legislation means more endangered species getting closer to eradication and extinction. Which countries will be banned from importing trophies into Britain? If it is not all of them, greedy businesspeople will find a way around the ban by moving the dead animal to a country from which we do allow the import of trophies. Which countries do we still allow trophies to be imported from? Will animal parts, such as bones, hands, tails and so on, be covered?

What about trading through a country, which my right hon. Friend Sir Greg Knight mentioned? Obviously, countries such as China value the body parts of these endangered species. I ask the Government to impose an immediate moratorium on the importation of trophies until legislation is made. Is there any reason why that cannot or should not be done immediately?

Can I be assured that the welcome announcement by the Government a few days ago will not result in just more consultation? There have been multiple consultations over a number of years, and the longer that that continues, the fewer lions there will be truly in the wild. I understand that the previous Secretary of State was holding a consultation—another one—and said that we had to listen carefully to both sides, but while we do that, more and more lions die. I thank the Minister for his passion on this and many other environmental issues, and I look forward to his positive response later.