Safari Club International (SCI) and its European leaders successfully worked with the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) to persuade European Union (EU) decision-makers to not adopt unnecessary and potentially harmful requirements for EU hunters. The German Ministry of the Environment proposed to add import permit requirements for the importation of legally hunted EU Annex B species into European Union countries.
Upon learning of the German Ministry’s intention to propose mandatory import permits at meetings in Brussels of the EU Scientific Review Group and the EU Group of Experts of the Competent CITES Management Authorities, SCI worked with FACE leadership to lobby European policy makers to defeat the proposal. Both SCI and FACE prepared position papers that they distributed to their members and to others in the European hunting community.
SCI European leaders carried the message throughout the EU. They contacted their governments and CITES representatives to persuade them to reject the proposal. For example, SCI’s Italian Chapter informed Italy’s EU Parliament members about the proposal; SCI’s Central Austria Chapter shared SCI’s opposition with key Austrian policy makers; SCI’s Central Hungarian Chapter informed the Hungarian government about the proposal; SCI’s Lusitania Chapter met with Deputies from all the Portuguese parties in the EU; and SCI’s Norway Chapter (although Norway is not part of the EU) contacted the Norwegian National Management Authority and Scientific Authority, and the Norwegian Hunting and Fishing association.
When Germany presented the proposal at the meetings in Brussels last week, it met with little success. Only four countries supported the permit requirement and the remaining countries were either critical of the proposal or stayed silent. While a temporary victory is in hand, the matter is not closed. It will be revisited at the next scheduled meetings of the two Groups to be held in September. SCI will continue to fight Germany’s attempts to increase the burdens imposed on European hunters who wish to import their trophies into EU countries.