WAV Comment: I have included 2 articles here for your review. As an Englishman (Brit); I feel that it would be political suicide if the UK government betrayed the animal welfare targets and promises which it made. On a positive note, (see second article), it would appear that the trophy hunting import ban will be brought forward in coming months – this parliamentary session, which would see the Bill becoming law.
But bans on the import of foie gras and fur items seem a little more uncertain; with politicians such as ‘rich boy’ Jacob Rees-Mogg and others opposing such actions. At the end of the day, the next UK national (General) elections to form the next government will be held on 23 Jan 2025. This gives us plenty of time to remind politicians of the cruelties involved with foie gras and fur production; and to continue pushing for the bans, regardless of the Rees-Mogg’s !
The British government must lead the way on animal welfare
Wildlife campaigners including Duncan McNair, Peter Egan and Stanley Johnson call on the government to keep its manifesto commitment to an animals abroad bill, targeting cruel and unethical tourism
We are concerned by reports of the government abandoning its manifesto commitments to an animals abroad bill (Tory row as law barring import of hunting trophies set to be axed, 14 March).
Quite apart from the welcome promise of an end to trophy hunting imports, the bill’s other leading measures are greeted across parties and the whole country. These include a ban on domestic advertising of venues abroad where elephants and other endangered species – big cats, apes, bears, dolphins – suffer extreme brutality in tourism, with the UK market taking a shameful lead.
Crucially, the bill would steer the market towards ethical tourism, throwing a lifeline to many endangered species and countering claims that cruel exploitation by rides, tricks, games and hunting provide important revenue to certain countries. The 1,000 and more UK-based operators promoting this cruelty contribute nothing to protect humans or animals at these venues. Nor, apparently, have any ethical improvements been made during pandemic downtime.
It is in the government’s own interests to take a principled lead over other nations and introduce the bill, restoring a fair claim to be showing the way on animal welfare.
Duncan McNair Save The Asian Elephants, Sonul Badiani-Hamment Four Paws UK, Claire Bass Humane Society International UK, Paul Christian Protect All Wildlife, Peter Egan, Stanley Johnson Patron, Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, Andy Knott CEO, League Against Cruel Sports, Steve McIvor World Animal Protection, Maria Mossman Action for Elephants UK, David Neale Animals Asia Foundation, Ingrid Newkirk Peta, Nick Palmer Compassion in World Farming UK, Ian Redmond Ecoflix
UK trophy hunting import ban to be brought forward
Unpopular bans on imports of fur and foie gras yet to be introduced, says George Eustice
A trophy hunting import ban will be brought forward in coming months despite opposition from Conservative backbenchers, the environment secretary has said.
George Eustice told animal welfare campaigners of the commitment after rumours that a bill banning the import of parts of endangered animals shot abroad had been stopped. The trophy hunting import ban was a Tory manifesto commitment for this parliamentary session.
Eustice said the government was “absolutely committed to” bringing the bill forward.
The government has said the bill has been delayed, claiming parliament does not have enough time this session to pass the law. Eustice said it would be a priority piece of legislation when the new session opens later in spring.
“While we won’t be introducing the animals abroad bill in this session as we are out of time, we will be looking at a range of vehicles for legislation on these important issues in the next session,” said Eustice.
However, he added that the pledged bans on imports of fur and foie gras, which have been hugely unpopular with backbenchers including Jacob Rees-Mogg, are not a sure thing.
Eustice said: “I know you’re probably going to ask me what’s going to happen on fur and foie gras but I can’t do that today.” Government sources have said the proposed bans are to be stripped from the animals abroad bill. Instead, they will likely have to be brought forward as private members’ bills, sponsored by individual MPs, and will no longer be a Conservative party commitment.
Queen guitarist and animal welfare campaigner Brian May said he was disappointed by the government weakening animal welfare legislation.
He told the Guardian: “I am disappointed. I’m always disappointed when it comes to animal welfare bills. We need to look at our attitude when it comes to animals – there’s so much talk by this government, they’re always making grand promises, but there’s so little action. Time and time again legislation which would protect animals is torpedoed. Or they take bits out and make it toothless and not fit for purpose.”