Trophy hunting is a colonial hangover that should be consigned to the history books

There is strong cross-party support for a ban, no real parliamentary obstacles and huge public support, writes Luke Pollard. So, why are ministers sitting on their hands? 

Monday 12 October 2020 14:51
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Elephant tails and ears are among imports to the UK
Elephant tails and ears are among imports to the UK

As we celebrated the many magnificent creatures that walk our Earth on World Animal Day on 4 October, there was an extinction crisis in our midst. The truth is, in a few years’ time there might not be as many animals to celebrate. A wild lion hunting a gazelle or an African elephant enjoying a mud bath might be something we only see in wildlife documentaries past.  

Animal exploitation, loss of habitat and the climate emergency have all played their part. Yet even now it is still legal for trophy hunters to travel around the world and kill some of our most iconic species.

In September last year, the government pledged to ban trophy hunting imports. We’re still waiting for the outcome of the consultation to be revealed. Over the last five years elephant tails, leopard claws, hippo teeth and elephant ears have all been imported into our country as morbid souvenirs. There is no sign of this slowing down – recent data reveals a rise in the number of hunting trophies imported into the UK in 2019 on the year before. 

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