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

I thank my hon. Friend for that point and for highlighting the level of support. Of course, that was reinforced by the Government themselves in January in their response to the petition instigated by Mr Peter Egan, which said:

“We will continue working to deliver our manifesto commitment to ban the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals, which has overwhelming support from MPs and the public…We recognise that this is an issue that the public feel very strongly about, and over 85% of responses to our consultation supported further action. In the previous Parliamentary session, the Government fully supported the Hunting Trophies Bill during its passage through Parliament. The Bill passed the House of Commons in March 2023, with strong support from MPs, but did not progress through Committee stage in the House of Lords. We will continue working to deliver this important manifesto commitment.”

I hope the Minister will be able to back that up further in her contribution later on. That was reinforced in a reply at the end of January to a letter from a number of Members across the House that the hon. Member for Crawley organised, in which the Minister once again said that there is considerable debate, and that the Government support the Bill and shared the hon. Member’s disappointment that it did not pass through the Commons. It is absolutely clear that whatever our other divisions, we are united in support of a ban.

There is one particular aspect that I want to highlight. We have talked a lot about hunting in the wild, but there is the even more deplorable business of so-called canned hunting, where animals, especially lions, are bred in an enclosure to be shot by depraved individuals who want a trophy. I pay tribute to Lord Ashcroft—again, someone with whom I might disagree on other issues—who has spent a considerable amount of time campaigning on and instigating research into that appalling trade. I hope the Bill will help reduce the attraction to such trade. One firm involved in that dreadful trade advertised that

“Your hunt is never complete, until you receive your animals at home for you to reminisce and re-call your experiences for the rest of your life.”

Do we really want to be associated with people who take that sort of attitude?

I have taken a fair amount of time and a number of interventions. We could go on a lot longer and in a lot more detail, but I recognise that the House will want to make progress, and that colleagues will want to make what I hope will be brief contributions.