DEFRA secretary George Eustice has put out a joint press release with animal rights extremists. Marking a lurch to the animal rights agenda in government, the minister in charge of the environment in England reiterates a promise UK prime minister Boris Johnson made to ban the import of trophies.
The announcement will please the Tory party’s paymasters from the animal rights community, but off-the-record briefings suggest the ban will not happen. The Independent newspaper reports that the proposed laws will be ‘delayed’. Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says a bill is unlikely to appear in parliament before the spring of 2022.
The press release from DEFRA includes quotes from animal rights organisations Born Free Foundation, Humane Society International and, fresh from lying to a parliamentary committee about hunting tourism (see our story here), Eduardo Gonçalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting.
Eustice ignores the science in his announcement, trying to conflate a ‘60% decline in wildlife globally’ with hunting tourism, which evidence shows is good for wildlife populations and conservation.
According to the announcement, the government has dropped a ban on the export of antlers. However, it will include a ban on travelling with animal parts, which may include antler buttons and even woollen garments.
Eustice calls the proposal, ‘one of the toughest bans in the world’ while conservationists lined up to point to the damage it will do to fragile habitats in Africa. Oxford professor Amy Dickman, who works on the project that put a radio collar on the lion that became popularly known as Cecil, recently tweeted her opposition to a trophy hunting ban:
I don't agree with the phrasing of this tweet or the comments, but this is the brutal reality of much poaching. This is a big part of why I & others warn about banning trophy hunting without better options ready, as that risks leading to far more, far worse, wildlife killings. t.co/oP9jzKaIZX— Amy Dickman 🦁 (@AmyDickman4) December 7, 2021
The announcement gives more detail to the commitments that UK prime minister Boris Johnston and his wife Carrie have made in recent months. The government in England is looking at banning the import of animal parts from 7,000 animals, including zebras and reindeer. The government has not issued the full list.
Here are the same animal rights extremists that Eustice now calls friends lying to a parliamentary committee about hunting tourism: