Consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies

Stephen Wiggins Article, Speaking Out 12 Comments

Update: IWB’s submission: IWB – Consultation Response and Call for Evidence


The United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has opened the “Consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies” (opened 2 November 2019, update, extended to now close 25 February 2020).

The consultation is in two parts – both open to on-line completion, plus submission before the deadline via postal mail, or e-mail:

in writing to: Trophy Hunting Team, Seacole building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF;

or by emailing [email protected]


Part One –  Consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies

Download Guidance (PDF): Hunting Trophy Consultation Document

On-line Submission: Consultation

Four options are included in this consultation for consideration. They are:

a. Option one: A ban on the import and export of hunting trophies from certain species;

b. Option two: Stricter requirements for clear benefits to conservation and local communities to be demonstrated before hunting trophies from certain species are permitted to enter or leave the UK;

c. Option three: A ban on all hunting trophies entering or leaving the UK;

d. Option four: Do nothing – continue to apply current controls based on internationally agreed rules.

The options do not need to be considered as exclusive. Options may be combined, for example hunting trophies from a limited number of species may be prohibited entirely, with strict import requirements being adopted for others. We would be interested in hearing your views on these options, including suggestions for modification or refinement.”


Part Two – Call for evidence on the scale and impacts of the import and export of hunting trophies

Download Guidance (PDF): Hunting Trophy Evidence Document

On-line submission: Call for Evidence


It is important for individuals to at the very least express their views to Part 1 , as no doubt this consultation will be subject to intense lobbying from all sides of the trophy hunting debate.


Further Reading

Rebalance Earth Project

Value Nature (Africa) – Providing the world’s first biodiversity credit for the voluntary ecological market (Note: “How much is an elephant worth? Meet the ecologists doing the sums,” The Guardian, 28 January 2021)

UK ministers accused of ‘dithering’ as trophy hunting law delayed again,” The Guardian, 15 November 2021

Landscape of fear: why we need the wolf,” Cal Flyn, The Guardian, 24 November 2020

The Times view on importing animal trophies into Britain: Killing for Sport Britain should ban the import of animal trophies,” (Paywall) The Times, 25 May 2020

New book reveals the British businessmen with trophy hunting blood on their hands,”

Grouse shoots scrapped as heather burning is banned on moors,” The Observer, 4 April 2020

Lone fox killer snares animals and skins them in ‘macabre’ trade supporting UK’s fur industry,” The Independent, 5 March 2020 –  Another reason why an all-encompassing Option 3 ban on hunting trophy exports resulting from the UK hunting trophy consultation would be a good thing – it would close off absurd loop-holes that apparently allow a species to be cruelly persecuted (snared/hunted) and the resulting skins/pelt exported from the UK (when fur farms are already banned in the UK) for profiteering purposes.

Addressing corruption in CITES documentation processes,” Willow Outhwaite, Research and Analysis Senior Programme Officer, TRAFFIC, March 2020

Botswana government won’t let the truth get in the way of its trophy hunting narrative,” Ross Harvey, Conservation Action Trust, 5 March 2020

Poaching and the problem with conservation in Africa (commentary),” Monga Bay Conservation News, 3 March 2020

Sky News, 25 February 2020

TROPHY HUNTING,” The Times Letters, 24 February 2020

Sir, Trophy hunting is often framed as a conservation issue. It certainly has strong ramifications for conservation, with studies showing that trophy hunting has had devastating impacts on many species’ populations and led to the extinction of some. “Artificial selection” — hunters singling out and killing the biggest animals — weakens the gene pool and leaves species less able to adapt to and survive threats such as climate change. Research has also shown that populations have made remarkable recoveries where trophy hunting has been suspended.

Trophy hunting is also presented as a socio-economic issue. Rightly so, as a recent study by a leading South African foundation showed that switching from trophy hunting to nature tourism could create more than 11 times as many jobs in that country alone.

However, trophy hunting is above all a question of ethics. In a 2020 YouGov poll commissioned by Humane Society International/UK and the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, when asked to what species a UK ban on trophy imports and exports should apply, 76 per cent of respondents said “all species”. Only 14 per cent responded that it should apply just to threatened or endangered species, and a mere 2 per cent said that the government should not bring in any restrictions.

Fundamentally, trophy hunting lacks respect — for wild animals, for the communities that live alongside them and for the organisations and scientists who dedicate themselves to their conservation. A complete ban is the only way for the UK to take a stand against this archaic practice, in line with public expectations.

Lisa Cameron (SNP), Stephen Farry (Alliance), Sir Roger Gale (Con), Claire Hanna (SDLP), Wera Hobhouse (Lib Dems), Caroline Lucas (Green), Luke Pollard (Lab), Liz Savile-Roberts (Plaid Cymru), Gavin Robinson (DUP)

Humane Society International and the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting


Link to follow – “Elephant auction haunts Masisi – Botswana Guardian, 21 February 2020


A discussion of trophy hunting on BBC Breakfast, with Eduardo Goncalves. Neil Fitt of the Kalahari Wildlife Society accidentally admits we don’t need trophy hunting as communities chose to make money from eco-tourism instead before the ban on trophy hunting [in Botswana] and are doing well” – 20 February 2020, Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting

I shot a deer – and I still believe it was the ethical thing to do,” George Monbiot, The Guardian, 19 February 2020

Conservationist explains why UK should reject the industry capitalising on the death of the last of our natural heritage,” Dr Ross Harvey interview, The Canary, 18 February 2020

Ranulph Fiennes labels trophy hunters ‘bullying bastards’ and calls for UK import ban,” The Guardian, 17 February 2020 – Sir Ranulph Fiennes  – “the world’s greatest living explorer

7 ways trophy hunting hurts conservation,” Jared Kukura, Wild Things Initiative, 16 February 2020

Botswana: Raffled Elephant Hunts Backfire on Community – Conservationists,” All Africa, 14 February 2020

Safari Club will probe sale of captive-bred lion hunts,” AP, 14 February 2020

Inside The Global Conservation Organization Infiltrated By Trophy Hunters,” Roberto Jurkschat, BuzzFeed, 13 February 2020

Joanna Lumley backs new law against ‘cowardly and cruel’ trophy hunting,” Mirror, 7 February 2020

Trophy hunting opponents ‘unsophisticated’, says shooting group,” Jamie Mann, The Ferret, 6 February 2020:

The categorization of Option 4 as “do nothing” is concerning as it implies – to the unsophisticated members of the public who are being persuaded by anti-hunting groups to respond to the consultation – that nothing is being done…..” – “BASC’s response to Trophy Hunting Consultation,” The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BACS), 22 January 2020

Trophy Hunting Is Not Needed To Improve Attitudes Towards Lions,” Jared Kukura, Wild Things Initiative, 5 February 2020

Saving Africa’s lions will rely on evidence around trophy hunting, not emotion,” Amy Dickman and Catherine E. Semcer, The Hill, 5 February 2020:

“More than two decades of limited trophy hunting has allowed hunting operator Mark Haldane to fund habitat conservation and anti-poaching efforts that have nursed Coutada 11 back to health after Mozambique’s protracted war” – does one ‘success’ (sic) story excuse all the negative impacts (proven by science, not “emotion“) of the poorly-regulated trophy hunting industry? No, it does not……

The Trophy Hunting Industry’s Ecological Time Bomb,” Jared Kukura, Wild Things Initiative, 3 February 2020

Lifting Botswana’s hunting ban endangers its status as a global conservation leader,” Dereck Joubert, Daily Maverick, 30 January 2020

UK must ban trophy hunting imports,” Dr Ross Harvey, Conservation Action Trust, 27 January 2020

Hunting of polar bears must be banned if species has any chance of survival, expert warns,” Mirror, 27 January 2020

KILLING FOR KICKS Sick trophy hunters ‘are driving polar bears to extinction’ as less that 25,000 remain in the wild,” The Sun, 25 January 2020

Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting | House of Commons Reception (Jan 2020),” The War On Wildlife Project, 24 January 2020

Ban trophy hunting,” Ecologist, 22 January 2020

From today’s “Trophy Hunting: The Case for a UK Import/Export Ban,” gathering at the Houses of Parliament…..speeches from Tracey Crouch MP, Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, Elizabeth Fiennes, Rt Hon Zac Goldsmith (Minister of State DEFRA), Eduardo Goncalves (Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting), Dr Ross Harvey (Economist, EMS Foundation), Stanley Johnson, Ole Liodden (photographer (Wild Photo Travel) and author ‘Polar Bears & Humans’ – Wild Photo – “Polar Bear Trophy Hunting), Luke Pollard MP (Shadow Environment Secretary)…..Vicki Michelle MBE, Jan Leeming and Peter Egan in attendance…

Rt Hon Zac Goldsmith (Minister of State DEFRA)

Foreign trophy hunters preying on rare UK wildlife, campaigners warn,” The Telegraph (paywall), 21 January 2020

Trophy hunting fuels ‘colonial race and slave injustice’, MPs warned as they consider imports ban,” The Independent, 20 January 2020

‘Bloodthirsty sport of trophy hunting must be stamped out now – before it’s too late’,” Mirror, 19 January 2020

Boris Johnson accused of hypocrisy over trophy hunting ban,” The Times (pay wall), 11 January 2020

Trophy Hunting letter to The Times (pay wall), 11 January 2020

Can Africa’s last lions be saved from human greed? Trophy hunting threatens to silence the prides,” Cyril Christo, The Hill, 10 January 2020

Ban on trophy hunting imports – Early Day Motion #50,” UK Parliament, 9 January 2020

The Myth Of Well-Regulated Trophy Hunting,” Jared Kukura, Wild Things Initiative, 15 December 2019

Brit trophy hunting firm sells ‘magical’ trips to kill reindeer before Christmas,” The Mirror, 15 December 2019 – (Hendry, Ramsay & Waters – “Scotland’s Premier Sporting Agency)

No place for trophy hunting in the sixth extinction,” Ross Harvey, Daily Maverick (Conservation Action Trust), 3 December 2019


The elephant (head) in the room: A critical look at trophy hunting,” Conservation Action Trust, 25 April 2018





Comments 12

  1. Pingback: 2019 Review – International Wildlife Bond

  2. John Cain

    Make the animals a profitable enough venture. Soon they will be breed to the point they will no longer be endangered. All the while the rich can pay to hunt them. This would fund their re-emerging into the wild.
    FYI the Pierce David deer was thought to be exterminated hundreds of years ago. It was kept alive int the Emperor of China’s hunting preserve.
    Capitalism to the rescue.

    1. Post
      Stephen Wiggins

      Make the animals a profitable enough venture. Soon they will be breed to the point they will no longer be endangered. All the while the rich can pay to hunt them. This would fund their re-emerging into the wild.” But animals in such commercial breeding ventures you advocate are often exploited for pure profit, nothing to do with conservation of the wild species whatsoever. One only has to look at the captive/canned lion hunting/lion bone trade to see the abhorrent “profitable” horror show – ‘legally’ supplying lions bones from canned hunting to known wildlife trafficking syndicates. Please explain how this legal, commercial activity is conservation in action? –

      FYI the Pierce David deer was thought to be exterminated hundreds of years ago. It was kept alive in[t] the Emperor of China’s hunting preserve. Capitalism to the rescue.” Regardless of your illuminating historical example (breeding in captivity for utilisation, not for rewilding the species in the actual wild duly noted), such “capitalism”/exploitation of wildlife is not a panacea………some species do not have a natural development in such breeding facilities – eg. captive bred lions lack the skills (hunting, natural pride dynamics etc.) to be released into the wild without considerable risk, not to mention the genetic issues and potential cross contamination of wild species by such releases (ref –

      The same is true of North America’s captive breeding industry and its contamination of wild species (in North America and by shipping captive bred species back to Africa) with genetically altered and disease carrying captive bred species released into the wild for hunters’ ‘needs’ without any precautionary risk principle consideration apparent –

      Basically, the captive breeding industry is a risk to wild species due to a lack of conservation imperatives and poor regulatory standards, not a conservation tool per se.

      Your views are somewhat simplistic in reality for many endangered species, eg. the African lion is still hunted by “rich” people/commercially exploited as you espouse etc. and still the wild species is in decline. Outdated “capitalism” (under the umbrella of ‘sustainable utilisation’) when applied to many species has not worked and is not working now.

      By the way, it would seem excessive hunting caused the demise of the Père David’s deer in the wild in the first place (which doesn’t really help support any pro-hunting stance as a panacea, just how hunters managed to stop themselves from sending another species to complete extinction – same as the near collapse of wild rhino population at the approach of the 1900s – FYI due to over-hunting and poaching, with as few at 50 wild White rhino at the turn of the century):

      Due to hunting and land reclamation, the demography of the Père David’s deer became even smaller. By 1939, the last of the wild species were shot and killed” – Zhou, K. 2007. Chinese Milu’s prosperity, decline and protection. In: J. Xia (ed.), The International Symposium on the 20th Anniversary of Milu Returning Home, pp. 15-19. Beijing Press, Beijing, China –ère_David%27s_deer

      South African populations of black and white rhinos (subspecies C. s. simum), both of which had been nearly extinct in the year 1900 due to uncontrolled hunting….” – Taylor et al., 2017 –

  3. Pingback: Botswana government won’t let the truth get in the way of its trophy hunting narrative – International Wildlife Bond

  4. Pingback: Shooting Captive Animals for Sport (and Trade) – International Wildlife Bond

  5. Pingback: Cecil – 5 Year Anniversary – International Wildlife Bond

  6. Pingback: Informing The Debate on Trophy Hunting – International Wildlife Bond

  7. Pingback: 2020 Review – International Wildlife Bond

  8. Pingback: UK Consultation on Hunting Trophies – International Wildlife Bond

  9. Pingback: 2021 Review – International Wildlife Bond

  10. Pingback: Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill – United Kingdom – International Wildlife Bond

Leave a Reply