Thank you very much for your email about trophy hunting imports. All read and carefully noted by me and I agree that it is a barbaric practice.
I understand your concerns, and I agree that it is important we protect endangered animals across the world. I am encouraged that the UK Government is committed to conserving the world's wildlife.
The wildlife trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, whose approach is to ensure that the trade is conducted legally and sustainably, not necessarily to reduce or end it. At its most recent conference the UK played a key role in developing a proposal for enhanced global rules on hunting and trade. The resulting tightening of controls are a very positive step towards ensuring sustainability.
Import controls are managed at an EU-wide (not UK) level and stricter controls on the import of six species subject to hunting, including lions and African elephants, were introduced in 2015. Following our withdrawal from the EU, the Government will be in a position to consider future UK policy in this area.
As part of its efforts to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, the UK hosted a fourth international conference on the illegal wildlife trade, building on previous conferences held London, Kasane and Hanoi. It has also set up the £13 million Illegal Wildlife Challenge Fund to support projects in the developing world, and in 2012 funded a conference in Johannesburg to consider conservation of the African lion with other interested countries.
You might like to know that, in 2016, the then Minister for the Environment, Rory Stewart commissioned a study on lion conservation with respect to the issue of trophy hunting. Defra is currently looking carefully at trophy hunting imports to ensure that they do not impact on the sustainability of endangered species.
I hope this comes as some reassurance.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me about this important issue. I’m afraid that, as a matter of principle and like many other MPs, I don’t sign EDMs which have no real parliamentary function and yet are very expensive to administer, however, I will certainly share your views and concerns with the appropriate ministerial colleagues. I will also continue to work closely with the WWF on these matters, both locally with them at their HQ in Woking and also nationally.
With best wishes.
Member of Parliament for Woking
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
020 7219 6913 | email@example.com