Opponents of hunting in the European Parliament had a bad day on Tuesday: a resolution for the forthcoming Conference of the Parties of CITES in South Africa did not receive the majority vote that they desired. Instead, the resolution supporting sustainable hunting was successfully adopted.
MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz, President of the Intergroup Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside, commented that „Sustainable and legal trophy hunting is secured. MEPs also adopted amendments highlighting the role of local communities who will continue to be part of the decision making process and benefit from wildlife management“.
The positive result of the vote in the Environment Committee can be viewed primarily as a result of the commitment of the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE), International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), and the European Landowners Organisation (ELO). The three organizations, which are committed to sustainable hunting, carefully criticized the draft resolution. As proposed, it stipulated the prohibition of any form of trophy hunting, regardless of the species being endangered or not.
FACE, the CIC, and ELO had mainly supported the initiative of Norbert Lins (CDU – Christian Democratic Union of Germany, member of the European People’s Party, EPP) which highlighted the significance of sustainable hunting for wildlife conservation, when revenues from trophy hunting are also given to local communities.
Tamás Marghescu, Director General of the CIC, welcomed Tuesday’s vote as it respected the voice of wildlife range countries in Africa in securing sustainable hunting as a tool for wildlife conservation.
“We would like to thank the MEPs who supported well-managed and sustainable trophy hunting as a tool for wildlife conservation and for having rejected unfounded attempts to ban this practice” commented Johan Svalby, Director of Legal and Public Affairs at FACE.
The draft resolution text, which was adopted unanimously by the Environment Committee (ENVI), will be subject to a final vote in Plenary, scheduled for September.
Similar initiatives were published recently by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in their new position on trophy hunting and hunting tourism.