Conservative lawmakers told the House of Commons that private lawmakers’ bill banning the importation of big game trophies was “a classic example of virtue at the expense of efforts to protect African wildlife and African people”. rice field.
The hunting trophy (import ban) bill, backed by actors Charles Dance, Joanna Lumley, Vicki Michelle and TV host Gary Lineker, was debated in Congress on Friday.
North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin said some of the “high profile celebrities” who have campaigned and lobbied on the issue had little experience with the issue. , “Their voices were African community leaders and scientific experts who opposed the bill because of its prestige.”
A bill introduced by Henry Smith, another Conservative MP, would halt the importation into the UK of body parts from thousands of species including lions, rhinos and elephants killed abroad.
Wiggin, who originally proposed more than 30 amendments to the bill, said it could have unintended consequences and “open floodgates for poachers.”
MPs accused of ignoring ‘scientific evidence’
Mr Wiggin said: If so, you would have paid attention to the scientific evidence provided by conservation experts. ”
A British conservationist said: Amy Dickman and Adam Hart For both, 90% of reserves with lions are severely underfunded, and eliminating trophy hunting without providing adequate funding alternatives would put those areas at risk of poaching. claim.
Wiggin said: IUCN Red ListTrophy hunting is not considered a threat to extinction of a species, but instead trophy hunting provides income for anti-poaching and habitat conservation. ”
Earlier this week, government representatives from South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana issued a joint statement in London in support of sustainable hunting.
The statement said: The long-term viability of habitats and species that we all care so much about,” the statement said.
“It’s wrong for the British to kill animals for fun”
However, Shadow Environment Minister Alex Sobel said: We can lead by example…we humans have a responsibility to care for this planet and its animals. Trophy hunting needs to be put in the dustbin of history, along with slave trade, female infanticide and witch hunts. ”
When Botswana temporarily banned paid hunting in 2014, fresh elephant carcass finds increased by 593%, according to Wiggin.
The ban, which was lifted in 2019, also had unintended consequences in some villages in Botswana.
Thebeyakgosi Horatius, former head of human-wildlife conflicts at the Wildlife and National Park Service of Botswana, said: national public radio said “because [the elephants] They feel comfortable and don’t feel disturbed by gunfire. They are passing through the village. They are free to go wherever they want. ”
According to Wiggin, Dickmann, a conservation biologist and director of wildlife conservation studies at the University of Oxford, said the legislation would actually result in “more painful and prolonged deaths from poachers than from hunter bullets.” He claimed to be connected.
Mr Wiggin said: poses a much greater threat to endangered species. ”
He continued, “I am very sensitive to racism. And I have spoken out against this bill because it seeks to govern conservation management programs in African democracies. Because I basically believed it was a colonial attempt by the NEO to do something with a really nasty tendency among us here today to be racist and want to judge people by the color of their skin. But we have to be very careful not to signal to the emerging nations that we know best.”
Earlier this week, Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, said of the views expressed by Wiggin: Seed goodness. ”
Gonçalves also said, “When I heard people on the other side saying this bill was neo-colonialist, I thought that rather than white people fly to Africa and say, ‘I’m going to shoot all these things,’ Can someone please tell me if there is a better definition of what is an animal for fun, is it my right to do so?
Undersecretary of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Trudy Harrison said: But bringing in body parts from endangered species is not the way forward. I am completely clear. It’s absolutely what the public expects. ”
“Cecil the Lion did not die in vain”
“I dare say Cecil the Lion didn’t die in vain,” Harrison said of the incident that sparked a global backlash against trophy hunting in 2015.
But Christopher Chope, another Conservative MP, questioned why the bill would not apply to Northern Ireland, asking Harrison:
DUP MP Sammy Wilson concurred with Chope’s concerns in light of Windsor’s framework.
Harrison replied: Wales. It will not be a springboard for importing into the UK. ”
The bill had a third reading without a vote and could now become law if approved by the Senate.
PA Media contributed to this report.