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Lions in Parliament today

Thursday 24th November 2011

Lions in Parliament today

Today in Parliament, Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour – Bristol East) asked a question about what steps Minister Spellman (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) was taking to curb the hunting of endangered species. She then turned the question specifically to lions, asking the Minister to condemn the trophy hunting of this vulnerable species, holding up a recent article in the Sun Newspaper featuring millionaire banker and Tory donor, Sir David Scholey posing with his bloody trophy, under the headline of "Who is the bigger beast?".

The response came from Richard Benyon (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Mr Benyon replied this was a matter for CITES, but acknowledged that there are areas in Africa where lion populations are of real concern. He referred back to a debate on lions in Westminster Hall (brought by Andrew Turner MP and LionAid), and mentioned that concerns expressed by Ms McCarthy’s question and the previous debate will be raised with CITES.

LionAid will continue to promote such questions in Parliament, and advise MPs on pertinent issues. Future questions will concern the endangered status of western and central African lions that are still being trophy hunted, the need to give Kenya and Namibia all assistance to ensure the current CITES Periodic Review of lions will take place with the only peer-reviewed scientific data and is free from vested interest lobbying, and that current abuse of lion quotas in Zimbabwe is rectified immediately.

We commend Ms McCarthy’s question, and look forward to working with her in the future to ensure full efficacy of the UK Parliament in achieving successful lion conservation programmes.

11. Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (Lab):

What steps she is taking to curb the hunting of endangered species. [82281]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Richard Benyon):

No native endangered species can be legally hunted in England. Although we cannot intervene directly in legal hunts of endangered species allowed by foreign Governments, the UK pushes for international co-operation through the convention on international trade in endangered species—CITES—in order to ensure that any trade in endangered species is sustainable. The UK also strongly supports the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling.

Kerry McCarthy:

Will the Minister therefore join me in condemning the trophy hunting of endangered and vulnerable species such as that carried out by the millionaire banker and Tory donor, Sir David Scholey, who was pictured in The Sun recently, posing by the bloody corpse of a lion under the headline “Who’s the bigger beast?”? Does the Minister condemn that?

Richard Benyon:

We recently had a debate in Westminster Hall about lion trophies and importation to the UK. There are certain areas of Africa where lion populations give real cause for concern, and we are working through colleagues in CITES to ensure that the concerns in that debate and throughout the House are raised.

Picture credit:

Posted by Pieter Kat at 15:47

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