Safari Club International (SCI) and its European leaders worked with the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) to persuade the European Union (EU) not to adopt unnecessary and potentially harmful import requirements for EU hunters. At meetings in June, a majority of the EU Member States and the European Commission chose not to support the German Ministry of the Environment’s proposal to add permit requirements for the importation of legally hunted EU Annex B species into European Union countries.
Upon learning of the German Ministry’s proposal, 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. Their efforts contributed greatly to the proposal’s defeat.
When Germany presented the proposal at EU meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg, it met with little success. Only four countries supported the additional permit requirements and the remaining countries were either critical of the proposal or stayed silent. The Commission remained unconvinced of the need for the new requirements. The Commission’s message to Member States explained that changes to existing rules “would need good justification, especially to identify their advantages from a conservation point of view.”
While SCI enjoys a temporary victory against these unnecessary import restrictions, the matter is not closed. The proposal will be revisited at meetings to be held in September. SCI, SCI European leadership and FACE will need to continue to fight Germany’s attempts to increase the burdens imposed on European hunters who wish to import their trophies into EU countries.