Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 10:20 am ar 22 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection 10:20, 22 Mawrth 2024

The one thing that unites the House is that we all want to see successful conservation, but this Bill has always been about racism and neocolonialism. This Bill is questioned by science and by African countries. If anybody, no matter how much they think they love animals, is thinking about writing to me or contacting me about trophy hunting, I insist that they seriously consider what African representatives have said about both the Bill and the people who support it.

Over the last 22 years, 73 CITES-listed species of animal have been imported as hunting trophies. In the same period, the pet industry has traded in over 560 listed species. If hon. Members care about CITES, then perhaps the Bill should include pets as well.

I do not believe anybody in the House intends to be racist, but this Bill crosses the line. The Namibian Environment Minister, Pohamba Shifeta, has written to our Environment Secretary denouncing the Bill as

“regressive step towards neo-colonialism… Your bill implies that your judgments supersede our insights and expertise… Such unilateral actions, made without consultation and collaboration with us…challenges the sovereignty of nations like Namibia.”

We have talked about Botswana and I will quote what President Masisi says. It is worth remembering that Botswana had 50,000 elephants; it now has 130,000 elephants. The population increases year on year by about 5,000 elephants. Some 400 trophy hunting licences are issued, but those licences have never all been taken up. When President Masisi describes intervention in Africa’s wildlife as “a racist onslaught”—