I appreciate the strength of feeling around this issue. Around a million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction and the abundance, diversity and connectivity of species is declining faster than at any time in human history. Ministers take the welfare of all animals extremely seriously and are committed to strengthening and supporting long-term conservation of animals both internationally and at home.
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.
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 are disappointed that despite the overwhelming support from MPs and the public, this Bill has failed to progress through Committee stage in the House of Lords. I understand that accepting the amendments proposed by Peers would have undermined the Government’s important commitment in this area.
However, I would like to assure you that Ministers remain committed to introducing this ban. The Government will continue to work to deliver this manifesto commitment, and I will continue to follow this issue closely.
For the reasons above, I do not feel that it is necessary to sign the Early Day Motion.