Paolo Strampelli’s guest blog posted here in late October proved popular with readers of this blog, and has now been posted, with permission and acknowledgement) on the Africa Geographic website – click here, and will also appear in a magazine in January. You read it here first.
Paolo’s guest blog is well worth reading more than once (here or elsewhere).
The issue of trophy hunting comes up now and again and I’d say that I was pleased to hear Zac Goldsmith announcing back in September, that the UK was going to ban the import of trophies into the UK. In some of the reactions to this announcement (which may never be translated into action, we’ll see) there is a touch of bcwywf (be careful what you wish for) involved.
A UK ban on trophy imports will not end trophy hunting across the whole of Africa and the rest of the world (obviously) and might actually have little impact on the activity. The announcement might be criticised for being utterly weak and having little impact . That criticism might well be more justified than the criticism that it would do great harm to nature conservation interests.
But it does send a signal to hunters and countries that the days may be limited for this activity. That signal is worth sending, and if the UK is sending it, then good for us! The amount of money which UK trophy hunters supply to African nature conservation may well be important locally, but I reckon it will be quite small in UK budgetary terms. If I were an African country I’d be looking to the UK to help fund national parks and private game reserves where tropy hunting was outlawed… And if I were a voter, I’d be hoping that the UK government might say yes.