International Wildlife Bond (IWB) has joined other wildlife advocacy organisations (co-ordinated by the Born Free Foundation) calling on the European Union (EU) to adhere to the EU’s Wildlife Trade Regulations (WTR).
“……..we urge all Member States to suspend issuance of all import permits for hunting trophies derived from species listed in the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations at least until a full review of the regime for determining whether import permits should be issued has taken place….”
This follows a ‘Written Declaration on Trophy Hunting’ (18 January 2016) by a leading group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) calling on the European Council and Commission to also ensure adherence to the EU’s WTR:
“Ensure that species listed within the EU’s Wildlife Trade Regulations (WTR) under Annex B are not hunted “detrimental to populations of any of the species.” Furthermore, for any species listed under the EU’s WTR Annex A, it must be shown that the hunting of the given Annex A species “benefited the conservation of Annex A species.” – The declaration concludes that these criteria are “rarely adequately determined.”
According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) trade database, in the decade to 2013 EU Member States declared imports of more than 117,000 trophy items derived from at least 87 different animal genera listed on the CITES appendices. These included more than 14,500 items derived from African elephants. Other commonly targeted species included hippopotamus (14,205), American black bear (12,077), leopard (4,016) and African lion (3,308).
While hunting trophy imports were declared by all EU Member States, the heaviest importing country was Spain (21,798), followed by Germany (19,079), France (12,333) and Italy (11,499).
To be clear, all that is being asked is that the EU’s decisions (based on the EU’s Scientific Review Group (SRG)) should be based on ‘science’ and sustainability, in accordance with the EU’s own WTR. This has not been entirely evident to date, but is crucial going forward to ensure no animal’s life is taken and the hunter’s all important ‘trophy’ imported without due consideration to proven, sustainable ‘conservation’ of the target species.
“On this World Wildlife Day, I call on all citizens, businesses and governments to play their part in protecting the world’s wild animals and plants. The actions taken by each of us will determine the fate of the world’s wildlife. The future of wildlife is in our hands!”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon