Animals Abroad Act

Poorly conceived’ Animals Abroad Bill puts wildlife at risk, UK government told – The Guardian January 13, 2022

‘Poorly conceived’ Animals Abroad Bill puts wildlife at risk, UK government told – The Guardian January 13, 2022

Proposed ban on trophy hunting imports ignores African perspectives and could reverse conservation gains, says open letter

 In an article in The Guardian UK on Thursday 13 January 2022, some balanced reporting by environmental journalist Patrick Greenfield about the hunting bans currently being included in the upcoming Animals Abroad Bill. He reports on the open letter recently sent to UK and international media which was signed by more than 100 scientists, conservationists and African community leaders, the group said the ban is poorly conceived and threatens to reverse conservation gains and undermine the livelihoods of rural communities across sub-Saharan African.

On Friday, MPs will vote on a private member’s bill to ban trophy hunting imports while, separately, the government is preparing legislation to ban hunting trophies from thousands of species, including lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and polar bears. This proposed ban on trophy hunting imports risks undermining the conservation of rhinos, elephants and other endangered wildlife, according to a group of leading scientists and conservationists who said African perspectives have been ignored by the government.

Leslé Jansen, CEO of the NGO Resource Africa South Africa, who signed the letter, said the legislation will harm conservation and African livelihoods and undermine the rights of rural communities to use their natural resources:

“We have voiced these concerns many times, and have attempted to engage in the process. Why are Africans’ rights, views and conservation successes continually ignored?” she said.

The article cited evidence-based conservation facts and opinions of those who live with wildlife in Africa, instead of being driven by misinformation and sentiment – an important departure from recent coverage on the trophy hunting bill. The other side of the story showed that it is important that the conversation on conservation is inclusive – even on contentious topics.