“BASC supports the sustainable harvest of wildlife in the UK and overseas and the import and export of trophies arising from such harvesting where they are clearly proven to be from a sustainable source; noting that well-regulated trophy hunting programmes play an important role in delivering benefits for both nature and people.”
Trophy hunting is the subject of intense debate. By over-simplifying the issue, animal rights extremists are making ground in the media and political debate.
The latest manifestations of these campaigns are new government proposals to ban the import of trophies from Africa, the ban on the promotion of African hunting at dedicated shooting shows.
Defra ran a consultation on the future of importing and exporting hunting trophies in the UK. This posed four options which could have huge implications for the future of shooting:
- A ban on the import and export of hunting trophies from certain species.
- Stricter requirements for clear benefits to conservation and local communities to be demonstrated before hunting trophies from certain species are permitted to enter or leave the UK.
- A ban on all hunting trophies entering or leaving the UK.
- Do nothing – continue to apply current controls based on internationally agreed rules.
BASC’s response to this consultation is to support Option four:
“Do nothing and to continue to apply current controls based on internationally agreed rules”.
These rules are based on very well thought out principles agreed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and implemented through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
BASC vehemently opposes Option three, which is no option – it proposes a total ban on all UK imports and exports of hunting trophies. A ban to this extent would not only affect the management of wildlife overseas but would also have a huge detrimental impact on the management of large mammals in the UK including deer.
Many UK private estates and professional deer managers rely on income generated by oversea hunters. This allows them to fund the deer management they undertake year-round and, which provides employment and critical habitat management.
BASC has been at the forefront of the discussion to ensure shooting and conservation in this country is not damaged by any decisions made.
There are two inherent differences between those that are against so-called ‘trophy hunting’ and those that understand its benefits.