Thousands sign new petition calling for ban on trophy hunting imports

Rishi Sunak is being urged to bring forward fresh legislation to ban trophy hunting imports to the UK with thousands signing a new petition.

Actor Peter Egan launched the e-petition on Wednesday which has already been signed by more than 13,000 people.

It comes after a private members’ bill by Tory MP Henry Smith ran out of time during the last parliamentary session after clearing the Commons but being derailed by a small number of peers in the Lords.

Mr Egan said: “The Government made a manifesto commitment to ban imports of hunting trophies from endangered animals but has so far failed to deliver and legislation was not announced in the recent King’s Speech.

“The Government must introduce a bill to keep its promise to voters and protect wildlife.

“Trophy hunters target animals already under increasing pressure from habitat loss, climate change, poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

“Trophies from leopards, elephants and even polar bears have been imported to the UK. Some hunting clubs reward the use of weapons that can cause enormous suffering, such as bows and arrows.

“One poll showed that 80 percent of the British public support a ban.

“A Bill to stop imports of hunting trophies was recently blocked in the House of Lords. The Government must seek to ensure a ban becomes law.”

British hunters pay thousands of pounds to legally shoot animals abroad before bringing trophies from their kills home with them.

A commitment to ban trophy hunting imports of endangered animals was included in the 2019 Tory manifesto.

Crawley MP Mr Smith said: “I’m immensely grateful to all of the fantastic campaigners who’ve supported my efforts to end the import of hunting trophies of endangered species body parts into Great Britain, they continue to be an inspiration.

“A significant majority of the British public want to see the law changed and with Parliament now in its final session the Government needs to legislate to achieve this manifesto promise it was elected in four years ago.”

Ian McLintock, chair of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, added: “Express readers are animal lovers and huge supporters of this ban. I urge every single one to sign this petition”

Supporters of trophy hunting argue it can provide funding for conservation but this is rejected by animal charities.

A Defra spokesperson said: “We are committed to delivering on our manifesto pledge to ban the import of hunting trophies and will continue to explore ways to bring this forward.”

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