Say No to Trophy Hunting!
Say No to Trophy Hunting!
Up to 1.7 MILLION animals have been killed for 'sport' and 'selfies by Trophy Hunters over the past decade. The UK government is currently holding a Public Consultation on whether to BAN hunting trophies. We call on the UK government to implement OPTION 3 for a Total Ban as a first step towards an END to all Trophy Hunting.
Over 100 CITES-listed species are shot by trophy hunters every year. The most popular animals for Trophy Hunters include African elephants, 'canned' (captive) lions, leopards, primates (monkeys, baboons), zebras, bears, hippopotamuses and rhinos.
Other hunting trophies that have been traded during the past decade include whales, chimpanzees, bald eagles, rare parrots, otters, and flamingos.
- Despite being threatened with extinction through climate change, it remains legal to shoot polar bears for sport. Since the 1960s, an estimated 50,000 polar bears have been killed by hunters.The current population of polar bears is estimated to be 25,000.
Leopards are classed as an ‘Appendix I’ species by CITES, the global wildlife trade body. Trade in Appendix I species is prohibited unless there are “exceptional circumstances”. The ban does not apply to trophy hunting, however.
- There are an estimated 10,000 ‘canned animals’ in being bred for the bullet in South African facilities. Animals bred to be shot include leopards, cheetahs, tigers, zebras and primates.
Trophy hunters shoot elephants for their heads, skins, feet, tails, trunks, ears, genitalia, and whole body trophies. The combined rate of trophy hunting and poaching is today greater than the annual birth rate of elephants.
There are fewer than 7,000 cheetahs remaining in the wild. The UK and US governments have provided taxpayer-funded subsidies to develop the trophy hunting industry in Africa, including for cheetah trophy hunting in Namibia.
Black rhinos are critically endangered with fewer than 5,000 remaining in the wild. Despite this, governments at the CITES conference in 2019 voted to double the number of black rhinos which trophy hunters can shoot for ‘sport’ every year. Wildlife traffickers often pose as trophy hunters in order to acquire rhino horns to sell in Asian markets. Rhino horns worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been smuggled using trophy hunting permits.
Giraffes are popular with trophy hunters for their skins which they use for a range of products including barstools, pistol grips and bible covers. Giraffe populations have fallen sharply in recently years to just one quarter of the number of African elephants. Several sub-species are classed as endangered. Until recently, there were no restrictions on giraffe trophy hunting.
- Trophy hunting lobbyists spend over $7 MILLION A YEAR trying to stop their sick 'sport' being banned - or what they like to call “protecting the freedom to hunt”...
Dear Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Killing animals for ‘trophies’ is cruel, unnecessary, and indefensible.
The animals targeted by trophy hunters are social, emotional, intelligent beings. Killing them for ‘sport’ goes against basic civilised values.
Canned hunting – breeding animals in captivity and then shooting them in enclosures – is the height of immorality.
Studies have linked trophy hunting to major impacts on wildlife populations. They also show some remarkable recoveries where trophy hunting has been halted.
We are now seeing potentially disastrous ‘artificial selection’ in many species as a result of trophy hunting and poaching, making it less likely those species can adapt and survive climate change.
Adding needless persecution to the growing threats faced by wildlife from habitat loss and climate change is senseless.
Trophy hunting is a ‘sport’ for the elite which entrenches social inequalities. It has no place in the modern world. By banning hunting trophy imports and exports, Britain can help begin to close this chapter in our history.
We the undersigned urge the UK government to implement Option 3 as quickly as possible, and to work with other governments to help end all trophy hunting.