Thank you for contacting me about the importing of hunting trophies.
I am glad that the UK Government is committed to conserving the world's wildlife. The UK is a leading participant in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which is currently reviewing the protection granted to lions.
I was pleased that in 2012 the UK funded a conference in Johannesburg to consider conservation of the African lion with other interested countries.
However, as so often happens this is not a totally straightforward debate. In some areas where successful breeding has produced an excess of a species, putting pressure on an ecosystem; properly managed, legal and sustainable trophy hunting can play a part in other species conservation efforts, providing an important source of funding for some countries. That is why I would join the Government in opposing blanket import bans in all cases.
As part of its efforts to tackle the illegal wildlife trade more broadly, the Government hosted and led the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking, where over 40 countries adopted the London Declaration in an effort to save iconic species from being poached to the brink of extinction. It has also set up the £13 million Illegal Wildlife Challenge Fund to support projects in the developing world.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.