London, 16th June 2023
The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill passed its Second Reading today in the House of Lords led by Conservative Peer Baroness Fookes.
This followed the passage of the Bill through the House of Commons which had its First Reading in June 2022 and completed its Remaining Stages earlier this year. Throughout its passage through the House of Commons, it has received strong support from all political parties as well as from Patrons Anna Firth MP and Sir Roger Gale MP, as well as Mark Francois MP, who all made contributions to its passing in the Commons. You can watch some of these contributions on the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation YouTube channel here.
Baroness Fookes said in her speech:
“Those who watch the wonderful wildlife films we now see and have access to the much greater information that science has provided about the wonderful interrelationship of animals and the threats that greatly interfere with it, will wonder why anyone should want to bring back trophies of slaughtered animals that, let us face it, are in grave danger. In this Bill we are not dealing with animals that are plentiful. However small a part the Bill may play, we have to try to ensure the conservation of these precious species.”
A number of other supportive Peers spoke in favour of ending trophy hunting imports, including Lord Selkirk, Baroness Sanderson, Lord Rennard and Baroness Jones of Whitchurch.
Earlier this week Henry Smith MP published a comment piece on his Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill in Conservative Home, which can be read here: https://conservativehome.com/2023/06/13/henry-smith-why-the-house-of-lords-must-back-my-ban-on-trophy-hunting-on-friday/
In his piece, he wrote that: “Generations to come will look back in disbelief at the treatment of majestic animals like elephants, lions and rhinos which need our protection now more than ever. With global wildlife on the decline, we must send a strong message to those who seek to destroy it.”
The commitment to ban trophy hunting imports was included in both the Conservative Manifesto 2019, and also Defra’s world-leading Action Plan for Animal Welfare published in 2021.
In March last year polling showed overwhelming support for the policy of banning trophy hunting imports. Amongst voters polled, 86% agreed that the UK Government should ban trophy hunters from bringing back trophies of hunted animals as soon as possible, and amongst Conservative voters this was 92%.
Meanwhile recent new polling shows 87% of Conservative voters agreed with the statement: “My MP should vote to ban British trophy hunters bringing home their ‘trophies’ of endangered animals”. You can read the full June 2023 Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation briefing here.
Last year several MPs alongside British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes spoke out against trophy hunting imports at Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation’s World Animal Day reception in memory of late Patron Sir David Amess, hosted at Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham by Jane Stevenson MP.
Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, commented: “Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation welcomes the passing of our Patron Henry Smith MP’s Bill to end trophy hunting imports through its Second Reading in the House of Lords. The democratic mandate to end our role in this cruel trade is significant; the Bill delivers on a key Conservative Manifesto commitment and a pledge in Defra’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare. It is also incredibly popular with the British public, who have time and again sent a clear message in polling that there is no place for trophy hunting imports in the 21st century.
“We would like to thank Henry Smith and Baroness Fookes for their leadership of this critical Bill, and look forward to continuing to support it through the House of Lords.”
About Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF)
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation was established in 2016 to raise awareness on the lives of billions of animals reared on intensive farms around the world and how this impact upon animal welfare, the environment and people’s health. We want to highlight the action people can take to help advance farm animal welfare.
Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the public, who frequently look to Government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards.
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation believes it is highly important that the welfare of farm animals is placed at the forefront of the Governments plan for food and farming along with its focus on productivity, competitiveness, and technology.
Media contact: Lorraine Platt ( firstname.lastname@example.org)