The European Parliament voted favorably on Amendment 24 to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, modifying language that could have been used to ban the trade and import of wildlife species legally hunted in Africa and elsewhere outside of the EU. With the successful passage of the amendment, the existing framework allowing for the import of hunted wildlife can remain in place, and hunters’ irreplaceable roles in conservation science, education, and research can continue undiminished.
Torbjörn Larsson, the President of the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE), thanked Safari Club International for its assistance and support in the passage of the amendment and also said, “The European Parliament has sent a strong signal that there should be no unjustified restrictions on wildlife trade, including on the movement of hunting trophies.”
Meanwhile, the SCI is continuing its campaign in the UK, as the country continues to push unscientific and harmful bans on wildlife imports. SCI explicitly opposes the UK’s initiative to ban the import of legally hunted wildlife abroad as proposed in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
In response, SCI sent a letter to the UK Parliament urging members to reject the import ban language as part of the Action Plan for Animal Welfare, noting that such a ban will hamstring the successful conservation efforts of African nations that rely on sustainable use programs.
Upon the release of SCI’s letter to Parliament and the EU’s vote on Amendment 24, SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin commented, “it is a relief to see members of the European Parliament vote to uphold hunting and the ability to import hunted wildlife as crucial components of conservation efforts by range countries, but SCI must also encourage the UK’s Parliament to see this issue as their neighbors in the EU do. The British have a rich hunting heritage, and many range countries in Africa will be worse off if British hunters can no longer bring home the wildlife which they hunt legally and as part of Africa’s carefully monitored and scientifically driven sustainable use conservation.”
Countries around the world, and many in Africa specifically, rely on hunting as part of their conservation strategies. Regulated hunting funds crucial conservation incentives, while trade restrictions often have the unintended consequence of harming wildlife conservation efforts.