Trophy hunting imports to be banned in UK

Emma Gatten
·2-min read
The Cecil the Lion case raised awareness of trophy hunting 
The Cecil the Lion case raised awareness of trophy hunting

The government is to push ahead with a ban on the import of hunting trophies, the Telegraph understands. 

The Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto included a promise to end the import of endangered animal parts and Boris Johnson has personally called for an end to the “barbaric practice”, but there had been concerns about the pace and extent of the legislation. 

A source close to the Prime Minister said: “It cannot be right that endangered and defenceless animals should be shot for pleasure and their mortal remains stuffed on the mantel pieces of this country. 

“The destruction of habitats is one of the great disasters of modern times. We have lost 500 species in the last century alone.”

Some 2,500 trophies from protected species have been imported into the country by hunters since 2010, according to the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting (CBTH). 

Among the 74 rare animal parts legally imported into the UK in 2018 were elephant ears and hippopotamus teeth. Permits are given for the import of items under international conservation guidelines intended to regulate the industry, which campaign groups say are failing.

The Government has been criticised for calling for the ban to be focused on “endangered” species. 

Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds is a vocal animal rights campaigner and has spoken out against trophy hunting.

His father, Stanley Johnson, is among several celebrities including Dame Judi Dench to have joined a campaign from the CBTH earlier this year.  

Calls have been renewed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist. 

British hunters have been accused of supporting the South African lion breeding industry, which provides the animals to be killed by trophy hunters.