Here’s a recent Press Release from FACE:
Brussels, 19 April 2016 – Should the EU stop all imports of trophies from developing countries? This has been the subject of intense debates in the European Parliament for the past three months.
On 18 January a group of MEPs launched a written declaration calling for the examination on the possibility to restrict all trophy imports into the EU. These MEPs have since been lobbying their colleagues and a number of events have been held in the Parliament to obtain support for the declaration and to make it the official opinion of the Parliament.
On 18 April (The deadline for signing the declaration), it was not only clear that the proponents had failed to obtain the required support of a majority of MEPs to have it published in the Parliament’s minutes, but also that an overwhelming majority of MEPs – over 80 % – rejected to support the declaration.
The President of the Intergroup “Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside”, MEP Karl-Heinz FLORENZ, concludes the past three-months long and intense debate: “The majority of the Members of the European Parliament believe that a ban of trophy hunting is not a desirable way forward for wildlife conservation. Instead, we fully acknowledge the important positive role of local communities and European hunters in this process.”
FACE, in close collaboration with Members of the European Parliament’s Intergroup “Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside” under the lead of its President Karl-Heinz FLORENZ as well as with FACE’s partner organisations, such as the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), have been working tirelessly to defeat the written declaration. The FACE Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Johan SVALBY welcomes the outcome and clear message from MEPs:
“When trophy hunting is conducted in a sustainable manner, it positively contributes to the conservation of wild populations and their habitats and also benefits society. In the midst of a poaching crisis, removing the important incentives and revenue provided by legal trophy hunting would constitute a detrimental blow to conservation and cause serious declines of populations of a number of threatened or iconic species, particularly on the African continent. The EU now needs to focus its attention on how to best make use of trophy hunting to provide economic incentives to conserve wildlife and to effectively counter wildlife crime. Hunters and other conservationists owe a big thanks to MEPs who have not signed the written declaration.”
Great news on the European front. US Fish and Wildlife should take a page out of the EU’s book and realize that arbitrary bans on trophy importation is counter to wildlife conservation.