THE work of a Gosport campaigner to get trophy hunting imports banned in the UK has been praised by a Conservative minister.
At a debate in Westminster Hall today, Zac Goldsmith, the minister of state for environment and international development, praised Eduardo Goncalves – the man behind the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting – for his work in highlighting the issue.
In the hall, a debate tabled by Pauline Latham, Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire, expressed an urgency to pass a law banning trophies from being imported into the UK.
Trophy hunting is the act of hunting down big game, with hunters taking part of the animal home as their prize.
Mr Goncalves, a 51-year-old father from Gosport, set up the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting with the aim of eradicating the practice from the UK.
With cross-party support, the government is now moving to ban trophy hunting imports from reaching UK shores.
Speaking in Westminster Hall, Mr Goldsmith said: ‘I want to thank key campaigners like Eduardo Goncalves, who runs the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting.
‘Some of these species are facing a horribly uncertain future – it’s an extraordinarily grim practice.
‘The UK cannot ban trophy hunting overseas, but we can ban trophy hunting imports.’
The minister added that from 2013-17, an estimated 1,500 trophies were imported to the UK.
Mr Goncalves said: ‘It was great – we’ve been in touch with quite a few of the MPs in Westminster.
‘It was interesting to see our opinion poll result that 86 per cent of the public support a ban was also cited by six MPs during the debate.
‘The message has really hit home; there will be a consultation but I think it’s clear what the direction is going forward.’
Ms Latham, the MP who tabled the motion, argued that these trophies should be banned in the interim until the legislation receives royal assent.
‘The extinction of many animals has raised awareness among the general public,’ she said.
‘The government should impose an immediate moratorium on the import of trophies until legislation is made.’