There is coverage in this morning’s Times on the issue of trophy hunting, and specifically claiming South African safari operators which allow the hunting and shooting of captive-bred lions are targeting UK tourists.
The piece includes calls from campaigners for the UK government to ban trophy imports where they are killed in this way. While the Times did approach us for comment on this story, they did not include the quote we provided in their piece.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove recently held a roundtable with a wide range of stakeholder organisations on the topic of trophy hunting.
A Defra spokesperson said:
The Environment Secretary believes trophy hunting provokes profound moral and ethical questions about the way we treat animals, and any policy decisions must be based on robust evidence.
He is aware that among conservationists and those who care deeply about wildlife, there are different views on whether trophy hunting should be allowed. The recent roundtable showed the strong desire on all sides to ensure wildlife is conserved, but also underlined the many opinions on the best way to achieve this.
The Secretary of State will hold further discussions on this critical issue to ensure we find the right solutions.
It is also worth noting the controls already in place. The UK Government will not issue an import permit for a trophy unless the importer can show there has been no detrimental impact on the endangered species and the trophy has been obtained from a sustainable hunting operation. All applications for import permits for trophies are individually scrutinised by JNCC (as the UK’s CITES Scientific Authority) to determine there has been no detrimental impact on endangered species and the trophy has been obtained from a ‘sustainable’ hunting operation.
Comment by Michael Hughes posted on
Big cats, like so many of our mammals, are under pressure and on the decline. The pretence that the JNCC can make a valid judgement on the impact of any single trophy event is absurd. Shooting captive-bred lions is gross. The hunters should be named and shamed. But of course this is a Government that is currently slaughtering a hither- to protected animal here--the badger--under the guise of TB control when patently its own measures to control the disease are totally inadequate and remain the continuing cause for bTB spread. Biosecurity measures remain optional. The skin test is the primary cause of disease spread as it remains totally unreliable.