Thank you for contacting me about trophy hunting imports. I understand your concerns, and I agree that it is important we protect endangered animals across the world. I am encouraged that the UK Government is committed to conserving the world's wildlife.
The wildlife trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, whose approach is to ensure that the trade is conducted legally and sustainably, not necessarily to reduce or end it.
Import controls are managed at an EU-wide level and stricter controls on the import of six species subject to hunting, including lions and African elephants, were introduced in 2015. I am pleased that the Government decided to consult on options to restrict the imports and exports of hunting trophies to the UK – including a potential ban. This consultation, alongside a call for evidence, will allow ministers to understand the public’s views on all sides of the debate and gather expert evidence to inform any next steps. The consultation closed in February and the responses are now being considered.
I was actively involved in this issue when I was in Government. As part of our efforts to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, I instigated and helped organise an international conference in London on the illegal wildlife trade, which was followed by further conferences in Kasane and Hanoi. Government has also set up the £13 million Illegal Wildlife Challenge Fund to support projects in the developing world, and in 2012, funded a conference in Johannesburg to consider conservation of the African lion with other interested countries.
I hope that this reassures you.