Theresa Griffin MEP: Taking Action on Trophy Hunting

Theresa Griffin MEP has joined other MEPs and the Campaign to End Trophy Hunting to co-sign a letter to Ivonne Higuero, the Secretary General of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora) regarding the fact that endangered, critically endangered, and even extinct in the wild species can still legally be shot by ‘trophy hunters’.

The letter outlines a number of areas that signatories believe need reform including:

“The fundamental principles of CITES state: “Appendix I shall include all species threatened with extinction which are or may be affected by trade. Trade in specimens of these species must be subject to particularly strict regulation in order not to endanger further their survival and must only be authorized in exceptional circumstances.”

These fundamental principles are not, however, currently applied to hunting trophies on the grounds that that these are considered to represent ‘non-commercial’ trade.

In consequence, a considerable number of Appendix I species trophies are traded each year. They include trophies of species listed as extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or near threatened on the IUCN Red List.

Populations of many of these species are in decline. There is also evidence that illegal trade of endangered species has been conducted using CITES permits that were issued for trophy hunting.

We therefore call on CITES to treat the trade in hunting trophies in the same manner as it treats all other trade in wildlife.

We also call on CITES signatories to implement an immediate moratorium on the import of all Appendix I species.

Furthermore, the practice of captive farming of lions for hunting trophies and the bone trade has been linked to illegal wildlife trafficking groups, is believed to be fuelling poaching, and has been widely condemned including by major hunting industry groups.

We therefore also call for an immediate end to the quotas of skeleton exports from captive-bred lions.”

Theresa Griffin MEP said:

“We have seen a worrying increase in the numbers of animals like Lions and Elephants being hunted by so-called Trophy Hunters. These animals deserve our protection and we need to ensure there are no loopholes that allow nearly extinct and vulnerable species be hunted down and pushed to extinction even more.

I was pleased to sign this letter with the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting and fully support the work they do to end this practice.”