Animal Welfare and the Trophy Hunting Ban
My response to the Campaign in favour of a ban on Animal Trophy Hunting
Thank you for contacting me about Animal Welfare and the Trophy Hunting Ban.
I am proud that the UK has consistently led the way on animal welfare, and it is right that we cement our status as a global leader by continuing to raise the bar.
The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill, introduced by my colleague and friend Henry Smith MP to legislate for a historic ban on trophy hunting imports into this country, has been passed by the House of Commons. I was extremely pleased to vote in favour of the Bill.
At the last General Election, we stood on a manifesto commitment to be a world-leading nation in banning the import of hunting trophies of endangered animals.
Using an internationally agreed list of species, this Bill will play a world-leading part in helping reverse the decline of wildlife across the world.
The House of Commons passing this legislation marks an important moment in ensuring that this pledge to support conservation becomes a reality.
Earlier this year I co-authored an open letter in The Times, calling on the government to move ahead with its proposed ban as a matter of urgency.
I also signed an Early Day Motion authored by Sir Mike Penning MP, calling on the Government to fully support the passage of the Trophy Hunting (Imports Prohibition) bill, including this as a tribute to the late Sir David Amess MP who campaigned tirelessly on this issue.
The full EDM can be read here: edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/60270/trophy-hunting-import-and-exports
My request to would-be trophy hunters: please replace your gun with a camera.
Simply put; shoot the best picture you can, leave the animal alive.
My request to the Government now: do what is necessary to enact this Bill with the urgency that is required.
A million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction and biodiversity is declining faster now than at any previous time in human history.
Over many years, I have been a strong advocate for the protection of animals and have authored and signed multiple Early Day Motions calling on the Government to enshrine in law greater protection for wildlife.
In May 2021, the Government set out a highly ambitious plan in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare (APAW).
In 2021, the APAW came into force. This rightly codified animals' status as sentient beings into law, ensuring that animal sentience is considered when the Government is creating policy. It also increased the prison sentence for animal abuse from six months to five years.
I share the Conservatives' commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare and hope that you do too.
The government is aware of the welfare concerns over fois gras and Ministers are currently committed to building an evidence base to develop future policy. Please be assured that the policies set out on the APAW have not been shelved.
Ministers are similarly working on gaining evidence to develop further policy on fur sale.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me on this important subject.
Sir Peter Bottomley MP