Belgium set to ban import of hunting trophies from endangered species

Belgium set to ban import of hunting trophies from endangered species
Wealthy individual still pay thousands of dollars to hunt endangered species. Credit: Canva

Belgium is set to ban the importation of hunting trophies from certain endangered species, including African lions and elephants. The ban follows the approval of a draft law by the relevant parliamentary committee.

Every year, Belgium issues dozens of import permits for hunting trophies from species listed under the CITES agreement – an international treaty for the protection of wildlife and plants.

Among the most commonly imported species are the African lion, African elephant, leopard, Hartman's zebra, and hippopotamus.

Over a year ago, a resolution by Mélissa Hanus (PS) and Kris Verduyckt (Vooruit) calling for a hunting trophy ban was approved by the Chamber. This resolution, turned into a draft law by Environment Minister Zakia Khattabi (Ecolo), received the green light from the parliamentary committee on Tuesday and will soon be debated in a full session.

Related News

The ban covers nearly 700 species, including tigers, polar bears, lions, black and white rhinoceroses, hippos, and leopards.

"It was – and still is – crucial to prohibit hunting trophies of endangered animals to preserve biodiversity and mitigate animal suffering associated with this practice," stated Hanus.

Current EU legislation allows the import and export of hunting trophies including from threatened and protected species. The EU is the second largest importer of hunting trophies, and since 2016, the largest importer of lion trophies in the world.

A group of animal rights organisations calculated that between 2014 and 2018, at least 14,912 individual animals from 73 different internationally protected and endangered mammals were imported into the EU.

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.