Dear [insert MP name]
I am writing to you today to bring your attention to an issue that I consider to be of prime importance - the catastrophic decline in the African Lion populations.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the World Bank co-hosted the International Forum on Tiger Conservation last year, bringing together the leaders of the 13 Tiger range states to discuss what could be the best and last chance to save the wild Tiger.
Since that time, continuing investment and efforts are being directed at rescuing the wild tiger from extinction.
However, unless concerted and dedicated action can be taken in the near future, the current precipitous decline in African Lion populations might well necessitate a similar meeting for Lions within the next five years. The charity LionAid is actively campaigning to remove a significant source of lion mortality by banning the import of Lion trophies into the UK and indeed the EU.
On the 17th November, Andrew Turner, the MP for the Isle of Wight presented a Private Members’ Debate (in Westminster Hall) entitled “Government policy on Lion trophies and the protection of Lions”. A positive response was delivered by the Assistant Secretary of State for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Mr Richard Benyon, who said “The Government has set out to be the greenest ever, and we carry that ethos into our international dealings”.
The transcript of the 17 November debate can be found here:
To date the following Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament have either expressed their support for the issue and/or are following the debate closely:
Richard Benyon - The Minister taking the Debate forward
Andrew Turner – who introduced the Private Members’ Debate
James Arbuthnot, Catherine Bearder (MEP), Henry Bellingham, David Blunkett, Sharon Bowles (MEP), Ronnie Campbell, Nick Clegg, Damian Collins, Oliver Colville, Mary Creagh, Mike Crockart, Caroline Dinenage, Charlie Elphicke, Graham Evans, Roger Gale, David Hanson, Margot James, Mark Lancaster, Pauline Latham, Oliver Letwin, Caroline Lucas, Linda McAvan (MEP), Edward Miliband, Robert Neill, Fiona O’Donnell, Bob Russell, Gavin Shuker, Keith Taylor (MEP), Laura Sandys, Keith Vaz.
In addition, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg had this to say in reply to a constituent:
“ I can assure you that my colleagues and I do take this matter very seriously…..the Government will raise questions with the exporting countries we have concerns with and support tighter controls on trophy hunting.”
It seems to me that we should all be doing everything we can to protect the African Lion now in its hour of need and I believe this is an issue that will have overwhelming support from people everywhere. I certainly support this issue and I would ask you if I can count on your backing for this very important initiative by LionAid that is very much in line with resolutions formulated and accepted by the UK at the recent Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan.