New figures show that nearly 400 hunting trophies from endangered animals have been imported into Britain in recent years, as well as almost 1 ton of elephant tusks.
Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake, who is calling on the government to ban the import of hunting trophies, commented:
"British trophy hunters are targeting endangered animals. They have killed literally hundreds of elephants, hippos, leopards and lions and then brought back their body parts for show.
"We are a nation of animal lovers, so you would be hard pressed to find anyone who does not think that trophy hunting is cruel, archaic and immoral. Trophy hunting isn’t a sport and what hunters bring back isn’t a trophy, it is a testament to their cruelty and vanity.
"Australia, France and the Netherlands have introduced import bans. I am calling on the British Government to follow suit and take decisive action before it is too late."
Conservationist and broadcaster Bill Oddie is backing the MP’s move, saying that trophy hunting was putting pressure on vulnerable wildlife:
"Elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs and rhinos are all fighting for their lives. We could see all of them go extinct within a generation. When you've got a scattered, dwindling population, the loss of a handful of animals doesn't just cause a ripple effect -- it can be like a tsunami.
"Trophy hunting has always been senseless cruelty. Letting people kill them because they think it's entertaining is just insane, especially when you’re talking about wildlife with such a vulnerable status."