I appreciate the strength of feeling around this issue. Around a million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction and the abundance, diversity and connectivity of species is declining faster than at any time in human history. Ministers take the welfare of all animals extremely seriously and are committed to strengthening and supporting long-term conservation of animals both internationally and at home.
In 2019, the Government held a consultation on the scale and impact of the import and export of hunting trophies. Over 44,000 responses to the call for evidence and consultation were received and 85 per cent of responses were in favour of further action. The Government’s response to the consultation set out plans to ban imports of hunting trophies from thousands of endangered and threatened species.
The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill was introduced to Parliament as a Private Member’s Bill in June 2022. I am pleased the Government fully supports this Bill, which will ban the import of hunting trophies from around 6,000 species, including lions, elephants, rhinos, and polar bears, delivering a key manifesto commitment on international conservation and animal welfare.
I gave Henry Smith MP my full support on this Bill and served on the Bill Committee back in January. I welcome that this Bill completed its Remaining Stages in the House of Commons on Friday 17 March.