SIR – In a game-changing decision, the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy has banned the import of African lion hunting trophies.
This ban follows the tidal wave of public opinion against trophy hunting that followed the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
In a communication addressed to the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and dated November 12, Segolene Royal, the minister of ecology, has also expressed that her government would seek stricter regulations on the import of hunting trophies to the EU.
Furthermore, Royal declared that France will no longer issue re-export certificates for raw tusks and pieces of unworked ivory in an effort to combat ivory trafficking.
Teresa Telecky, director of wildlife at Humane Society International, said: “We applaud France for its decision to protect African lions by banning lion trophy imports. In the last five months, the public has become much more informed on the true nature of trophy hunting, that it does not contribute to conservation and is harmful to the survival of species in the wild.”
This news is followed by two other major announcements. First, Europe’s largest hunting fair – Jagd & Hund Dortmund – will cease all advertising and sale of canned hunts, in which trophy hunters pay to kill animals bred exclusively to be shot in a fenced in location.
And just a month after the world premiere of the film Blood Lions, which exposes South Africa’s canned hunting industry, it has been reported that the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa members have voted to “distance the association from captive-bred lion-hunting” until breeders “could prove the conservation value of this practice to both PHASA and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature”.