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The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill is a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Henry Smith MP. The Bill has Government support and will ban the import of hunting trophies from species of conservation concern. 

Trophy hunting is legal if it complies with a country’s existing hunting legislation including ensuring all proper permits have been obtained (which may include permission to hunt endangered species). It is not the same as poaching, which is the illegal hunting or capture of wild animals.

The provisions in the Bill would ban the import of hunting trophies into Great Britain from species listed by the Government in regulations, including those already listed in existing Wildlife Trade Regulations, except if they are excluded by the Government. The ban would apply to any animals hunted after the time the legislation comes into force, which would be set out in regulations by the Secretary of State.

Campaign to ban trophy hunting

Campaigners have called for a ban on imports of hunting trophies into the UK.  Born Free rejects the notion that trophy hunting helps conservation and says it supports “non-consumptive opportunities to generate income from wildlife”.The Ban of Trophy Hunting Campaign disagrees with trophy hunting, believing that “there’s no justification for killing animals for fun – it’s cruel, wasteful, and serves no purpose”.  However, others are of the view that trophy hunting can benefit conservation in some circumstances.

The Government had previously proposed introducing a ban on the import of hunting trophies in December 2021, following consultation. This was expected as part of an Animals Abroad Bill which has not been presented to Parliament to date.

Bill stages

Second Reading of the Bill took place in the House of Commons on 25 November 2022. During the debate there was support for the legislation from across the House.  The Government also made clear it supported the Bill.

Committee Stage of the Bill took place on 25 January 2023. There were no amendments tabled and the Bill was agreed to unamended, without any divisions.

Remainng stages of the Bill in the House of Common are due to take place on 17 March 2023.  A number of non-Government amendments have been tabled for Report Stage  covering a range of topics. The list of amendments (PDF) includes several that would limit the scope of the legislation.

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