We have a moral duty to treat animals in a humane and compassionate way. National governments must work together to fight animal cruelty, including that involved in trophy hunting. The international rules for the import and export of hunting trophies are established under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. A hunting trophy of an endangered species can only be exported if the exporting country is satisfied that the hunt was both legal and sustainable.
I support the calls for a complete ban on the importation of any lion product, including sport hunting trophies, into the UK and I hope the government will listen to the concerns that have been raised by organisations such as IFAW and take urgent action to support lion conservation around the world.
The UK government announced in November 2015 that it would ban lion trophy imports within the next two years unless there are improvements in the way hunting takes place in certain countries. The government has also moved to take Benin and Ethiopia off the list of countries from which the UK is prepared to import lion trophies, and has said it has plans to move against Zambia and Mozambique.
I will continue to encourage it to do so.