MPs and campaigners take giant inflatable animals to Parliament to urge the government to ban trophy hunting imports

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  16th September 2023

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MPs from different parties, alongside peers and campaigners have taken giant inflatable animals to Parliament as they call on the government to ban the import of hunting trophies.

Campaigners from the Coalition Against Trophy & Canned Hunting (CATCH) including animal protection organisations Humane Society International/UK and FOUR PAWS UK, are working with politicians to show their support for the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill.

Together, they are imploring the government to find the necessary time to allow the Bill to complete its passage into law. The Bill, which was a manifesto commitment, would protect the tragic victims of trophy hunting if passed.

The MPs and peers at the event – who numbered more than 30 – included Henry Smith MP, Emily Thornberry MP, Ruth Jones MP, Baroness Natalie Bennett and Baroness Cathy Bakewell.

Their action followed the Bill’s Committee Stage in the House of Lords on September 12.

During the debate, a small group of pro-hunting Peers attempted to kill the Bill by running down time. As there is a limited number of sitting days until the end of this Parliamentary session, there is now a serious risk that there will be insufficient time for the Bill to complete its remaining stages.


Hunting trophies – supporting the Bill

In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Claire Bass, senior director of campaigns and public affairs at Humane Society International/UK, said there is lots of support for the bill.

She said: “We’ve returned to Parliament today to demonstrate the huge strength of support the Bill has from both cross-party MPs and Peers, and the British public – over 80 per cent of whom back the ban. 

“It’s deeply frustrating that a handful of the Government’s own backbench Peers attempted to gun down the Bill last night with an onslaught of time-wasting amendments. 

“Armed with giant inflatable wildlife, we are calling on the Government not to let animals or the public down, and urgently bring the Bill back to the Lords to deliver the promised hunting trophy import ban.”

The giant inflatable lion and giraffe were used to urge the government to deliver the bill. Photo © HSI/UK

The giant inflatable lion and giraffe were used to urge the government to deliver the bill. Photo © HSI/UK


‘Widespread support’

Sonul Badiani-Hamment, Country Director at FOUR PAWS UK, added: “Today’s strong turnout from over 30 MPs and Peers reaffirms the widespread support the Trophy Hunting (Import Prohibition) Bill has from across the political parties.

“The purposeful filibustering by a handful of backbencher Peers means that time is running out to discuss the Bill and their myriad of 64 tabled amendments. This is a wasteful course of action, wilfully taken to prevent the Bill from becoming law.

“United with elected MPs, who reflect the wishes of the voting public, we urge the Government to immediately make more time for the Bill and to continue pushing it through; they have the will of the nation and Parliament behind them.”

‘Decline of species’

Meanwhile, Adam Cruise, acting CEO of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, said: “As someone who has been in the field for almost two decades, the claim that trophy hunting benefits conservation and community livelihoods is false.

“The clear evidence on the ground is one of widespread decline of species and increasing levels of poverty throughout Southern Africa. Decades of trophy hunting not only has failed to improve the situation but has made it considerably worse.”

HSI International said Conservative Peer Baroness Fookes led the Bill’s Committee Stage, in which five amendments were discussed. Two votes were called, which were both lost in the Government’s favour.

Do you want to get involved in advocacy that helps animals? Find out how you can help to create a vegan world and how to take activism beyond your diet 

Featured photo © HSI/UK

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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