the government announces new wildlife protection measures

The British government has announced its intention to ban the import of hunting trophies.

About 7,000 animal species will be protected by the new bill. This includes lions, leopards, polar bears, rhinos, and elephants.

The bill covers both wild animals and those raised specifically for hunting.

The new bill is expected to be tough on trophy hunting, with violators up to five years in prison.

A long time to come

In 2015, the death of Cecil the lion, shot by a British trophy hunter in Zimbabwe, sparked outrage across the country.

Four years later, in 2019, the trophy import ban was first proposed, but it will be debated for another two years.

According to the campaign group Campaign to ban trophy hunting, up to 300 trophies could have been purchased in the UK during those two years.

Eduardo Gonçalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, expressed his disappointment at the time of taking charge of the bill.

Talk to The Guardian, he said: “The bill, from what we have seen, appears to be in fairly good shape, but it has been two years since it was originally announced in the Queen’s Speech, and many animals were cruelly and needlessly killed during this time.

“So it is really imperative that the government gets the bill to parliament as quickly as possible.”

Gonçalves said he heard from ministers that the bill could be submitted to parliament in the spring or next summer, when “potentially 100 more animals or more will be killed and their trophies brought back to Britain”.

He said: ‘Delays are costing lives: every week that goes by without this ban means more animals, including endangered species, are slaughtered by British hunters and their trophies are brought back to the country.

“Some of these species are on the verge of extinction, and the British public is certainly very opposed to trophy hunting.”