The World Daily
UK law may encourage wildlife slaughter

The population of black rhinos has dropped dramatically and they now face extinction.


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | MAY 13th 2021


Environmental and wildlife campaigners have begun to boycott ministerial talks in the UK over the proposition of a new legislation that would negatively overhaul the rules regarding trophy hunt imports.

The legislation, conservationists fear, will lead to the more frequent “government approved” killings of numerous endangered species such as the black rhinos, elephants and polar bears due to the radical nature of the overhaul towards the animal welfare legislation. It was specified that this will be due to a certain loophole that is all too easy to exploit in this regard.

“Britain wanted to be a world leader on this. As it stands, it is set to be a world loser,” said Eduardo Goncalves from the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting (CBTH), who added that the implementation of this legislation along with the loophole would be “absolutely disastrous.”

“What has been presented today is not a ban. At best it represents no change to the current system. At worst, it opens the door to shooting critically endangered species such as black rhinos,” he added.

Back in 2019, the Conservative Party in the UK had made the promise in its manifesto that among their aims would be the goal to entirely ban all imports related to trophy hunting or animal endangerment. The issue with the latest documentation comes with the fact that it pledges that the imports and exports of hunting trophies in the UK “are not threatening the conservation status of species abroad.”

The phrasing is particularly weak, and campaigners warn that it could be used to derive a loophole of exemption by wealthier UK hunters, and thus encourage the hunting of endangered species in greater numbers.

The introduction of the legislation in the UK had originally comes as a great victory to animal welfare campaigners, as the law was meant to formally recognise animals as sentient beings in country. Thus the legislation includes a vast number of changes, which include putting an end to live animal exports and banning hunting trophy imports.

“We are extremely concerned the government appear to be rowing back on their commitment to bring in the ‘toughest trophy-hunting rules in the world’ and end the ‘morally indefensible’ practice of trophy hunting,” said Claire Bass, the executive director at the Humane Society International/UK charity who claimed they’d be seeking clarification in the proposed legislation. 


Bass added that: “Adding a caveat to imply that if a trophy is not ‘threatening the conservation status of a species abroad’ it could still be imported, would create a giant loophole and mean the legislation would provide no meaningful improvement on the status quo.”

Such animals as zebras, Cape buffalo and reindeer could still be shot by wealthy hunters if they paid a large fee that would go towards “supporting conservation,” effectively rendering the ban inadequate. In this particular case, there are great fears that the loophole will lead to the targeting and importing of body parts from farmed lions.

“Even canned lions would fall through this new regime, and that is something the mainstream hunting industry supports a ban on,” said Goncalves. “The government’s new position is completely unacceptable. We have no choice but to condemn the government’s terrible proposals.”

As it is now, permission is needed from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for hunters to bring back body parts from animas to make sure that the trophy is in no way “detrimental” to the conservation of species at risk. With the newly proposed legislation, hunters could stand to import critically endangered species into the UK on the grounds that they contribute to the conservation of animals (typically through hefty fees or donations).

“If Defra pursues this line, we could effectively end up with UK government-approved trophy-hunting,” Bass added. “If the government plan to just repackage the old system, we cannot support them, or celebrate any progress for wildlife protection. We urgently need clarification on this important point.” 


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021