I appreciate the strength of feeling around trophy hunting, and as a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Banning Trophy Hunting I have personally led parliamentary debates on the subject. The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill was introduced to Parliament in June 2022 as a Private Member’s Bill 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 Committee stage in the House of Lords in the last parliamentary session. I understand that accepting the amendments proposed by Peers would have undermined the Government’s important commitment in this area.
I am aware of the campaign in relation to the King’s Speech and trophy hunting, and I would like to assure you that the Government remains committed to delivering on the manifesto pledge to ban the import of hunting trophies. Ministers will continue to explore ways to bring this forward. 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.
I will continue to monitor this closely.