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A Freedom of Information request to the UK Government regarding their public consultation

 

It is now the 10th March and the UK Government’s Public Consultation and Call for Evidence in November 2019 on options to restrict the UK imports and exports of hunting trophies including a potential ban finally ended on February 25th.

Since that time, there has been no further communication from the UK Government as to when this might lead to a decision. With COVID 19 now threatening to become a pandemic and taking centre stage for governments around the world, it seems possible albeit likely that this hunting ban may once again be kicked into the long grass.

We were deeply disturbed when the original deadline date was extended by a month from the 25th January to the 25th February and felt entirely unsatisfied with the official reason given:

“We are aware that some individuals and organisations may not have been able to fully engage in this call for evidence as a result of the pre-election and Christmas periods. The call for evidence closing date has therefore been extended by 1 month to 25 February 2020. This is in line with best practice guidelines to ensure interested parties have sufficient time to respond.“

So we have launched a FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST to the UK Government asking the following questions:

 

1. Who/which agencies requested the extension, what were the reasons given, and who within DEFRA approved the extension to the consultation period?

 

2. Before the extension was granted,

a) how many responses had DEFRA received to the public consultation announcement in any variety; b) how many responders had already filled in the two-tier more “demanding” official response form via the internet?

 

3. After the extension was granted, how many more responses were submitted to DEFRA?

 

4. As a comparison between the two consultation periods, the initial one until January 25 2020, and the subsequent extension until February 25 2020, how many responses were received in the following categories:

a) Overall positive submissions calling for restrictions and/or a total ban submitted before the original deadline of January 25,2020 versus submissions negative to restrictions/bans?

b) Overall positive submissions calling for restrictions and/or a total ban submitted after the original deadline of January 25,2020 versus submissions negative to restrictions/bans?

 

5. How many submissions were received from African nation governments now conducting trophy hunting versus how many African nation governments not conducting trophy hunting?

 

6. Given the vague announcement that a “decision” will be taken “later this year”, can we have a more precise estimate on when DEFRA will make a decision on trophy hunting imports/exports?

 

We will keep you informed when we receive a response to this FOI request.

 

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Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 15:00