Linda Tucker writes to Westminster to prohibit the import of hunting trophies into the UK

9 February 2020

Honourable Members of the Committee

At this critical turning point for the planet, we call on the British Prime Minister and honourable members of the British Parliament to lead by example by prohibiting trophy hunting imports at UK ports, and thereby place the regeneration of our living Earth at the centre of all decisions affecting our mutual future.

Trophy Hunting of rare wild species, including those listed as the so-called “Big Five”, is widely recognised as an antiquated remnant of post-colonial exploitation of African wildlife; and the fact that this industry is fed and fuelled by corruption within African governmental structures is no validation. It is unbefitting for the governments of civilised countries to promote commercialised Blood Sport, with the connivance of unscrupulous and deficient local governmental structures, and at the expense of their peoples, and their living wildlife heritage.

Organisation Background

Over 3 decades, the work of the Global White Lion Protection Trust has united ancient indigenous knowledge with modern science to help save species, reviving ecosystems and human value systems – in a leadership model of sustainable living with mutual benefits for Lions, Land and People, in one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. With its head-quarters in the UNESCO Kruger- to-Canyon Biosphere region, this leading community-based conservation organisation was founded and led by specialist Lion Ecologist Jason A. Turner and CEO, Linda Tucker, a specialist in African traditional cultural belief systems, with a Masters from Britain’s Cambridge University (MACantab).

Since 2000, we have been recording and advising governments on the commercial trophy hunting activities taking place within the private nature reserves bordering the Kruger National Park, which, although legalised, have been conducted in a manner which is both morally reprehensible and ecologically irresponsible.*

*A comprehensive document of recorded examples of breaches in basic trophy-hunting ethics is available upon request.

Track Record

On the issue of Lion trophy hunting imports, kindly note our organisation has been invited to present at the following parliamentary events, as an independent expert on both the cultural and conservation importance of lions within one of the world’s primary ecosystems, and one of the last viable lion ranges on the planet.

  1. 20 February 2008: Presentation to South African Parliament (Gazette attached)
  2. 26 June 2013: Invitation to present to British MPs on the case for prohibition of Lion Trophy Hunting at British Ports, invitation by MP Lord Anthony St John of Bletso (See Presentation, attached)
  3. 16 December 2016: Jason A. Turner (Director of Ecology, Global White Lion Protection Trust) invited to present to the Britain’s All Party Political Group (APPG)
    at Portcullis House, Westminster.
  4. 21/22 August 2018: South African Parliament presentation at Colloquium on Lion hunting hosted by Chairperson of Portfolio Committee of Environmental Affairs.
  5. 5/6 February 2019: South African Parliament presentation on Trophy hunting enquiry in the greater Kruger Park region (Hosted by Chairperson, Portfolio Committee, Environmental Affairs)
  6. 21 January 2020: Presentation at Davos during the World Economic Forum on the ‘Eco- centric’ model of conservation, which strongly condemns Trophy Hunting as a grossly antiquated model of exploitative land use (ASSEGAIA Alliance of international environmental experts)

Unethical and ecological irresponsible commercial trophy hunting practices

Following upon the South African Parliament’s Colloquium into trophy hunting of Panthera leo and investigation of wide-spread malpractices (21/22 August 2018), 25 leading conservation organisations urgently called for a Moratorium to be imposed on the trophy hunting of lions in the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) bordering on the Kruger National Park, to prevent continued incidents of unethical and ecologically irresponsible commercial trophy hunting malpractices within these buffer reserves. The reasons include:

  1. Irresponsible trophy hunting of pride male lions
  2. Negative impacts on the lion pride dynamics
  3. Natural selection of species gravely compromised through removal of pride males
  4. Lack of basic compliance due to under-staffed and dysfunctional conservation departments
  5. Corruption of local law enforcement officers
  6. Erosion of solid local community values with intergenerational consequences
  7. Increase in human-wildlife conflict
  8. Climate impacts – undermining the apex predator’s role in mitigating drought-exacerbated conditions
  9. Increased illegal killing of wildlife linked to manipulated commercial trade expectations
  10. Laundering of illegal parts via legal permits
  11. Colonialist consumptive paradigm widely condemned by indigenous cultures

Since the APNR is regarded as one of the world’s high-profile show-case private nature reserve areas, it should be of grave concern to this committee to consider the implications of whole-scale unpoliced, unethical and ecologically irresponsible malpractices taking place in other areas, which are less in the public eye. In these areas, lions have been removed from the wild, bred in captivity under high-stress conditions for trophy hunting (“canned hunting”) and tamed lions, once petted as cubs, are slaughtered for the lion bone trade): a deplorable industrialisation of Africa’s once proud heritage, which took its cue from commercial trophy hunting malpractices in the wild. The prohibition of trophy imports to the UK will greatly assist African countries in taking a moral and ecological high-ground, and thus lead the way to a world-wide clamp-down on this disreputable and grossly unregulated blood-lion industry.

*We would sincerely welcome an opportunity to direct you to comprehensive documentation, archives and up-to-date track record on this industry.

Expert Position Statement on Trophy Hunting Imports

Today’s global citizens recognise the responsibility of governments to ensure the protection, regeneration and flourishing of global wildlife heritage, which should be honoured and upheld as a living heritage for future generations, in ensuring the future of the planet.

Trophy Hunting of rare wild species as commercialised Blood Sport is characterised by unscrupulous and ecologically irresponsible practices at the expense of third world peoples, and their living wildlife heritage. It is unacceptable in a civilized country regarded as a world-policy leader.

We urge you to take an ethical and ecologically responsible position in prohibiting trophy hunting imports into the UK, and instead encourage the British public to direct support into preserving wildlife areas as a matter of urgent priority.

Sincerely

LINDA TUCKER
CEO and FOUNDER, Global White Lion Protection Trust

Lions, Land, People

 

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