Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster has signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, urging him to bring forward legislation to deliver the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto commitment to ban trophy hunting imports.
This move by 66 MPs and Peers, on a Cross-Party basis, follows the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill, a private member’s bill introduced by Henry Smith MP, falling in the House of Lords thanks to the delaying tactics of a small number of Peers who were opposed to it.
The Bill passed second reading in the House of Commons in November 2022 and its Committee Stage in January 2023. Kevin volunteered to serve on the bill committee to help the proposed ban progress through parliament. On 17th March 2023 the Bill passed third reading, completing its passage through the House of Commons.
On 16th June, the Bill passed second reading in the House of Lords, with committee stage commencing on 12th September, yet large numbers of amendments being tabled meant it could not complete this stage in the time allotted. Given there was no further parliamentary time for this Private Members’ Bill, it fell when Parliament was prorogued on Thursday 26th October 2023 ahead of the State Opening on 7th November.
The fall of this bill, which enjoyed widespread public support, has lead dozens of parliamentarians, including Kevin Foster, to call on the Prime Minister to go further by introducing a government bill. A Government Bill would put an end to the time-wasting parliamentary tactics of a small number opposed to the ban and deliver this manifesto commitment.
Kevin Foster MP said: “Trophy Hunting is a relic of the past and imports of animal body parts into this country connected to it should be outlawed. The Conservative Party Manifesto made clear it was time to end this practice and, after an attempt to do so was wrecked by delaying tactics in the House of Lords, it is time for a Government Bill to deliver this promise and consign this practice to the history books.”
Dr Jane Washington-Evans from the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting added: “The bringing back of body parts, so hunters can glory in their cruel sports is morally and ethically unacceptable. Animal abuse and kills for thrills is out of another century and it’s time to end the sick sports. Parliament as well as the British public overwhelmingly support a ban. This is why we are calling on the Prime Minister to honour the manifesto commitment and Her Majesty’s speech of 2019 and bring back the bill to ban trophy hunting imports immediately after the King’s Speech.”