Labour accuses Government of being ‘complicit’ in trophy trade

Labour has accused the Government of being “complicit” in trophy hunting after a bill that would see imports banned in the UK became tied up in the House of Lords.

Commons leader Penny Mourdaunt has insisted that MPs will get another chance to debate the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill, though more Parliamentary time will have to be allocated.

Opposition politicians accused Conservative peers of filibustering and trying to prevent the Bill from becoming law.

Added amendments were branded last week as “death by a thousand cuts” in Parliament, with 62 being added separately.

Those making changes have denied trying to “kill the Bill”, instead insisting they want to improve it.

Labour is urging the Government to stop “dither and delaying” and revive the Bill’s chances of being passed, accusing them of being on the side of the killers.

If made law, the Bill would prohibit bringing into the UK body parts of species of conservation concern.

Thousands of trophies have been brought into the UK over the last decade, including from endangered species.

Eight years ago, the death of Cecil the lion brought trophy hunting to the attention of the British public and the Government has since announced its intention to ban bringing them to this country.

Labour has also promised to ban importing trophies to the UK if it wins the next election.

Steve Reed, shadow environmental secretary, said: “Hunting endangered animals is barbaric and must be confined to history.

“We must stop the selfish trophy hunters who want to slaughter then display endangered animals’ body parts for their own perverse self-gratification.

“The Conservative Government must stop siding with these killers. If they refuse to act, they will be complicit in the slaughter as they break yet another pre-election promise.

“The next Labour government will do the right thing and ban the sickening import of these trophies.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was contacted for comment.

Conservative peer Lord Mancroft, who has expressed concerns over the Bill and tabled amendments, said on Thursday: “Although the House of Lords was given very little time to discuss the Bill, it was noticeable that it had virtually no support from any party.”

Committee stage saw several Tory opponents voice their concerns while discussing their proposed amendments.

Speaking at this stage earlier this month, Lord Mancroft branded the Bill “socialist legislation” before noting: “It is supported entirely on the Labour and Liberal Democrat benches and clearly has very little support on our benches.

“It is an odd thing for the Government to do.”