Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 9:35 am ar 22 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Llafur, Warley 9:35, 22 Mawrth 2024

My right hon. Friend makes an important point. Vastly excessive numbers, such as in certain parts of this country where there are problems with deer, have an impact on woodland and the very proper campaigns by the Government to reforest the country. In many cases professional hunters do the cull, rather than having people firing crossbows at animals, which can then linger for several days. Cecil the lion was mentioned. That case caught the attention and imagination of the British public, and it focused them on this issue and they made it clear that they do not want this practice to continue.

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right, but there is another factor to consider. The elephants taken out are the big leaders of the tribe. That has a significant effect on the gene pool. There is already some evidence that elephants with smaller tusks are surviving and therefore, contrary to natural selection, changes are taking place to their appearance. Also, some hunters do not seem to accept that, although some are solitary, many animals live in social structures. We saw that with the death of Cecil the lion and we see with elephants that the social structure and cohesion of elephant herds are completely disrupted. That applies to other creatures as well. Hunting is to the detriment of gene selection and the development and maintenance of groups of species.