Belgium: Motion for a resolution to ban the import of trophies hunting certain animal species
On Thursday 24 March, the House of Representatives approved the proposed resolution prohibiting the import of hunting trophies of certain animal species.
This proposal prohibits the import of hunting trophies of certain African animals, including white rhino, hippopotamus, elephant, Argali sheep, lion, polar bear, but also of a whole range of smaller antelopes. FACE and SCI sent letters to members of parliament noting the huge negative impact a decision like this would have on wildlife conservation and local communities in Africa.
Further, the competent Belgian authority, the FPS Public Health – CITES service, which regulates the import of hunting trophies, considers a ban unnecessary and counterproductive.
· 20 October 2020: the MPs submitted the proposal DOC 55 1608/001.
· 16 December 2020: Survey on 777 people in Belgium on hunting trophies. 91% support banning/restrictions on imports.
· 21 September 2021: Hearing on the proposal was hold in the Energy, Environment and Climate Committee (BE Parliament).
· 24 March 2022: Vote in the BE Parliament. The text was approved unanimously.
Why it matters
Following the bans on trophies in the Netherlands and France (on lion imports) and ongoing discussions in the UK, a new attempt is being made to adopt an administrative approach to reject any request for authorization to import hunting trophies of the above-mentioned species.
FACE and SCI will be monitoring the situation and making sure that this proposal would not be accepted by the current government.
Bellow is a flyer for the event that SCI is co-hosting in Brussels at the end of April: “Is Africa being heard? Hunting, Conservation and Livelihoods”.
All SCI members are invited to attend and listen to the excellent speakers we have arranged. Ben Cassidy and Jeremy Clare will be in Brussels on behalf of SCI.
Although not part of our original plan, the co-sponsors of the event are also working to use this opportunity to address Belgium’s potential trophy import ban. The timing works out well for us – the resolution is a great example of Africa being ignored in these debates! We are setting up meetings for 27 April between the African representatives who will be in town for the event and relevant Belgian policymakers. The ban is not yet implemented, and we are working to prevent it.