We are concerned by reports of the government abandoning its manifesto commitments to an animals abroad bill (Tory row as law barring import of hunting trophies set to be axed, 14 March). Quite apart from the welcome promise of an end to trophy hunting imports, the bill’s other leading measures are greeted across parties and the whole country. These include a ban on domestic advertising of venues abroad where elephants and other endangered species – big cats, apes, bears, dolphins – suffer extreme brutality in tourism, with the UK market taking a shameful lead.
Crucially, the bill would steer the market towards ethical tourism, throwing a lifeline to many endangered species and countering claims that cruel exploitation by rides, tricks, games and hunting provide significant revenue to certain countries. The 1,000 and more UK-based operators promoting this cruelty contribute nothing to protect humans or animals at these venues. Nor, apparently, have any ethical improvements been made during pandemic downtime.
It is in the award own interests to take a principled lead over other nations and introduce the bill, restoring a fair claim to be showing the way on animal welfare.
Duncan McNair Save The Asian Elephants, Sonul Badiani-Hamment Four Paws UK, Claire Bass Humane Society International UK, Paul Christian Protect All Wildlife, Peter Egan, Stanley Johnson Patron, Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, Andy Knott CEO, League Against Cruel Sports, Steve McIvor World Animal Protection, Maria Mossman Action for Elephants UK, David Neale Animals Asia Foundation, Ingrid Gear Peta, Nick Palmer Compassion in World Farming UK, Ian Redmond Ecoflix