Campaign Response: Trophy Hunting

I have been contacted by constituents about Trophy Hunting, and the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill.

As the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South, I have included below my response:

I appreciate the strength of feeling from around this issue from constituents. 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. Government 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, the last parliamentary session, as a Private Member’s Bill by Henry Smith MP 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 the Committee Stage in the House of Lords. I understand that by accepting the amendments proposed by Peers it would have undermined the Government’s important commitment in this area.

I am aware of the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill which was re-tabled by John Spellar MP and is having its second reading on 22nd March. I am supportive of the ambitions of the Bill and I will follow any developments relating to this Bill closely.

Thank you to those constituents who took the time to contact me about this issue.