Campaigners hoped hunters would be blocked from bringing their vile souvenirs back to Britain – but it was not included in the Government’s legislative agenda
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Angry campaigners blasted Boris Johnson for again failing to outline plans to ban trophy hunting imports in the Queen’s Speech.
The long-promised ban on hunters bringing animal skins, severed heads and carcasses back to Britain after shoots abroad was again missing from the Government’s planned legislation – despite ongoing Tory promises to stop the sick trade.
The Government has also snubbed chances to back a Private Member’s Bill which would have outlawed the practice.
Campaigners hoped today’s Speech would include measures to finally introduce a ban, pledged in the Conservatives’ 2019 general election manifesto.
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But instead, buried on page 127 of the Queen’s Speech pack, was a section saying: “We are … committed to legislation to ban the import of hunting trophies from thousands of species.
“This will be one of the toughest bans in the world, and goes beyond our manifesto commitment, meaning we will be leading the way in protecting endangered animals and helping to strengthen and support long-term conservation.”
But no timetable was given.
Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting founder Eduardo Goncalves told the Mirror: “This is starting to feel like Groundhog Day.
“The Government promised to ban British trophy hunters from bringing home their sick souvenirs three years ago.
“It did it again after the 2019 general election, again last year, and now here we are yet again – we are no further forward, there is still no date for the Bill.
“There is a real danger this is going to compound the Government’s credibility problems.”
Mr Goncalves said that “if it wants to regain the trust of the British people, the Government has to get on with it”.
He added: “Every week that goes by means more lions, elephants, giraffes and other endangered animals murdered by monsters who just like killing animals for kicks.”
Ministers insisted in December that they would push ahead with a ban – but failed to set out a timetable.
The Environment Department said at the time that measures “will be included in future legislation aimed at raising welfare standards and protections for animals abroad”.
It added: “Further details of this will be forthcoming soon.”
Humane Society International chief executive Claire Bass accused the Government of offering “only warm words rather than concrete proposals on hunting trophies” in the address.
She added: “Combined with the omission of a whole raft of other hugely popular animal protection policies, today’s Queen’s Speech represents a major let down for millions of voters and animals suffering overseas for the UK market.
“Including the Animals Abroad Bill in the Queen’s Speech was an open goal to score public opinion points.
“As recently as January, the Government promised to ‘raise the bar for animal welfare and take the rest of the world with us’, but that’s sounding sadly hollow today.
“With strong public and political support from across Parliament, we will continue to fight for these laws.”