The importing of hunting trophies - heads, skins, tusks, and body parts of wild animals - must be banned immediately in Belgium, according to the Animal Rights group.
The Belgian-Dutch animal rights organisation has therefore launched a petition to this end, it stated on Monday.
According to Animal Rights, Belgian hunters pay large sums of money to bring down animals threatened with extinction abroad. The cost of a journey of this kind is anything from $4,000 to $30,000. For this amount, they can shoot polar bears in Canada and elephants or lions in African countries.
The organisation, relying on an international database, has calculated that hunting trophies have been imported into Belgium on 345 occasions over the past six years. There was often more than one animal involved, for example, eight bears' heads or 80 kilograms of elephant ivory.
"Rich Belgian hunters are paying large sums to be able to shoot animals abroad that are often threatened with extinction and then hang them proudly on their walls. It's completely unethical. We want an immediate ban on hunting trophies and we have launched a petition with this in mind," Rowena Vanroy, the campaign coordinator, explained.
The Cites Convention stipulates that protected species may be neither marketed nor collected in this manner. But Animal Rights condemns the fact that the importation of hunting trophies is authorised from the moment a Cites permit has been issued.
With this petition, the body is calling for an immediate ban on such imports. It calls on the Dutch and Belgian governments to work towards the inclusion of a total ban on hunting trophies in the Cites Convention.
The Brussels Times