The Parliamentary Association in Defense of Animal Rights, Humane Society International and the Franz Weber Foundation have demanded in the Congress of Deputies the ban on trade in hunting trophies in Spainwhich is the second largest importer of wildlife trophies in the European Union.
During a conference held in the Lower House under the slogan ‘Let’s prohibit the importation of hunting trophies of endangered species’, they stated that Between 2014 and 2018, Spain imported 2,117 hunting trophies of 51 species of mammals included in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and between 2019 and 2020 Spanish trophy hunters managed to import more than 1,000 trophies.
Parliamentarians from the APDDA participated in the conference, who promised to promote initiatives to prohibit the importation of trophies through a non-law proposal aimed at prohibiting the trophies of the species included in Annexes A and B of the Wildlife Trade Regulation (Regulation (CE) nº 338/97 of the Council).
At the event they discussed the negative effects of “trophy hunting” of vulnerable and endangered speciesas well as on the necessary measures to address these effects, reports Europa Press.
The attendees highlighted the key role that Spain plays in this matter, since according to data from a report, Spain imported 2,117 hunting trophies of 51 species of mammals included in CITES. Among them, at least one trophy black rhino and one trophy addax stand out, both listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
In addition to those already mentioned, there are also hundreds of trophies from other majestic species, including African lions and elephants, cheetahs, zebras, brown bears and polar bears. Most imported lion trophies originated from captive-bred animals.
“Colonial Pastime Celebrating the Killing of Animals”
For participating organizations, trophy hunting is a “colonial pastime that celebrates the killing of wild animals”which is incompatible with the biodiversity ambitions of the European Commission.
If the initiative is approved, Spain would not be the first EU Member State to take measuressince France banned the import of lion trophies, the Netherlands banned the import of hunting trophies of more than 200 species, the Belgian Parliament has tabled a legislative proposal to ban the import of hunting trophies of endangered species, while the Members of the Finnish Parliament tabled a motion containing a proposal to ban the import of these trophies.
On the other hand, The UK has recently stated that it intends to introduce the strictest trophy ban in history. while in Italy a bill is in the Italian Chamber of Deputies to ban the import and export of hunting trophies of all species protected by CITES.
Human Society International Europe Senior Director of Public Affairs Joanna Swabe has stated that trophy hunting has no place in modern society. She in her opinion is “completely irresponsible to allow wealthy elites to shoot endangered species for sheer pleasure as the world faces an unprecedented biodiversity crisis.”
For her part, the legal adviser of the Franz Weber Foundation, Anna Mulá, believes that there may be room for this action in a way that reflects public opinion and concerns about the conservation of species and the protection of animals.
Along the same lines, the deputy member of APDDA María Dantas added that other European countries with governments of all political stripes that are capable of adopting more ambitious measures for the protection of biodiversity and endangered species than have been taken to date in Spain. “The time has come to act, we cannot stay behind”, has urged.
Finally, the deputy of Más País Verdes Equo Inés Sabanés has assured that this non-law proposal is a way of reflecting in the plenary session of the Congress of Deputies the broad rejection that exists in Spain towards the hunting of endangered species.