Another year, another trophy hunter posing for photos on social media with endangered animals that he killed for so-called “sport.” Forty-four-year-old, father of three, British hunter Syed Riswan is at the center of the latest controversy surrounding these callous hunters.
The subject of a recent expose, Riswan reportedly tries to put a “positive spin” on trophy hunting claiming that by heartlessly killing these iconic animals, he, and the trophy hunting industry as a whole are, in fact, “protecting” the wild animals from falling into the hands of poachers. Ridiculous. Murder is murder whether you walk away with a “trophy” to hang on your wall for bragging rights or a rhino horn to sell on the black market.
“Some of the world’s top trophy hunters are British. They are killing some of the most endangered animals on the planet, including elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, and polar bears. Eduardo Goncalves, Founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting told WAN.
Goncalves points to an example of the tragic decline of lion numbers which have crashed from 200,000 in the 1970s to fewer than 20,000 today. “Yet the senseless slaughter for souvenirs and selfies continues,” stated Goncalves, noting that “many British hunters are now killing captive-bred lions in enclosures.”
“Trophy hunters shoot an animal every three minutes. They are on course to kill as many as 170 million animals this century,” shared Goncalves. “We must shut down this cruel and barbaric industry.”
A bill to ban British hunters from bringing “trophies” of endangered and vulnerable species into Britain was going to be debated by a Commons Committee on Wednesday, January 18th, but reportedly has been delayed yet again. The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill was introduced to Parliament by Henry Smith MP on June 15th of last year and was debated at its second reading on November 25th.
“I’m pleased that my bill to ban vile trophy hunting imports to this country will continue its parliamentary journey,” Smith said in a statement. “I’m very grateful to parliamentary colleagues who ensured that the bill passed its second reading and now goes to committee stage, where it will be debated and scrutinized further.”
The bill would be the strongest of its kind in the world and has the backing of the Government, as well as UK wildlife and animal welfare groups. According to another statement by Smith, A recent opinion poll found that 86% of voters support a ban.”
Goncalves is among countless others that believe that the American gun lobby is trying to block the ban in numerous ways including:
Providing funding for £1 million to a fake group which claimed Africans were opposed to the ban. The group was kicked off Facebook and Twitter after being exposed.
U.S. gun rights and trophy hunters group Safari Club International, which has its UK base in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, is hiring a £100,000-a-year lobbyist to move efforts to thwart the legislation.
There are reports that Russian trophy hunters linked to President Vladimir Putin have reportedly funded a group campaigning against the ban.