Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 11:08 am ar 22 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 11:08, 22 Mawrth 2024

I am pleased to speak on this important Bill. The importation to the UK of trophies produced during the barbaric sport of trophy hunting should have ended a long time ago. I thank my right hon. Friend John Spellar for introducing the Bill, following the earlier Bill from Henry Smith. We need to get this sorted today, because we have had Warley and Crawley, and I am not sure there is another constituency that rhymes.

I thank animal welfare charities nationwide, including FOUR PAWS, Humane Society International, World Animal Protection and Ban Trophy Hunting. They have worked tirelessly for years to ensure that this legislation is passed, and have produced the most helpful briefing note for this debate. I also pay tribute to the former President of Botswana, Ian Khama, who has been a tireless and passionate campaigner on these issues.

However, for all the praise that our campaigners are due, we should not have needed to be here debating this Bill today. The legislation should have been passed by this Government long ago. We all know that members of the public, including in my constituency, overwhelmingly support the Bill. The wider public support for it is reflected in the fact that banning hunting trophies was both a 2019 Conservative manifesto promise, as the hon. Member for Crawley said, and a Labour manifesto promise. Why is this measure, promised by the Government, not already in law? Why did they fail to bring forward their own Bill banning trophy hunting, as they pledged to voters that they would? Given that an earlier private Member’s Bill seeking to implement a ban progressed through the House last year, why are we here again debating an equivalent Bill? It is because the Bill we debated last year was deliberately and wholly undemocratically derailed by a small number of mostly hereditary Conservative peers. As my hon. Friend Clive Efford pointed out, those peers ignored the will of the public, the welfare of animals and their own party’s manifesto commitment, and used the amendment process as a blocking device. Labour Members think that that is unacceptable, and our party wants this long promised and long overdue legislation progressed as soon as possible.