Safari Club International has learned of an effort to fast-track an importation ban on many, if not all hunting trophies into the UK.
The move was announced by the Minister for International Wildlife Zac Goldsmith. Under the new policy, hunters from the UK will no longer be able to bring heads, skins, or other body parts of wild animals from around the world.
On September 29, Safari Club International sent a letter to Minister Goldsmith and others outlining our great concern over the pending move along with several recommendations including the essential component of engaging with the environmental ministries of the countries that manage the wildlife that will be affected by a potential ban, including Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was emphasized that these countries should be consulted in order to fully understand the impact that a UK importation ban will have on the success of their conservation efforts.
At the same time, a second letter was sent to the embassies and ministers of the seven African countries that would be affected, notifying them of the issue and offering assistance in making contact with UK officials.
Recently 133 wildlife experts, in a letter to SCIENCE Magazine, placed scientific evidence over subjective sensitivities to recognize the importance of hunting in wildlife conservation. The authors also advised governments not to take actions that would undermine existing well-managed hunting programs. Although some of the wildlife experts admitted their personal discomfort with hunting, they noted that a "conservation policy that is not based on science threatens habitat and biodiversity and risks disempowering and impoverishing rural communities."
SCI encourages anyone with friends or associates in the UK wishing to making their voice known, to please direct them to find their MP at this link: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
They should act quickly and make sure their MP:
- Listens to the locals who manage the species
- Understands that revenue from legal hunting is used to fund conservation efforts
- Recognizes that poaching is the real threat