Thank you for contacting me regarding Early Day Motion (EDM) 50 on trophy hunting.
Firstly, I must advise that like many MPs I don't sign EDMs as they are not an effective tool in influencing Government policy. They are motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons, for which no day has been fixed and as there is no specific time allocated, very few are actually then debated.
In respect of this specific point, I understand your concerns and I agree that it is important we protect endangered animals across the world. I am encouraged that Government is equally committed to conserving the world's wildlife.
As you may know, the wildlife trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, whose approach is to ensure that the trade is conducted legally and sustainably, not necessarily to reduce or end it. At its most recent conference, I am pleased to say the UK played a key role in developing a proposal for enhanced global rules on hunting and trade. The resulting tightening of controls are a very positive step towards ensuring sustainability.
As part of its efforts to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, the UK hosted a fourth international conference on the illegal wildlife trade, building on previous conferences in held London, Kasane and Hanoi. It has also set up the £13 million Illegal Wildlife Challenge Fund to support projects in the developing world, and in 2012 funded a conference in Johannesburg to consider conservation of the African lion with other interested countries.
Import controls are managed at an EU-wide level and stricter controls on the import of six species subject to hunting, including lions and African elephants, were introduced in 2015. Following our withdrawal from the EU, the Government will now be in a position to consider future UK policy in this area. In view of this, you will be pleased to know that the Government recently consulted on options to restrict the imports and exports of hunting trophies to the UK - including a potential ban. This consultation, alongside a call for evidence, will allow ministers to understand the public’s views on all sides of the debate and gather expert evidence to inform any next steps. It closed in February and the responses are now being considered.
I trust that this comes as some reassurance to you that the Government takes these issues incredibly seriously and thank you again for taking the time to contact me.