LONDON — Thousands of trophy hunters from around the world will gather next week in Nevada, USA, for the world’s largest trophy hunt convention, held by Safari Club International, at which trophy hunter Donald Trump Jr. is also scheduled to speak. One of the hunts up for bid is a black-tailed deer hunt with Trump Jr. in Alaska for $17,000.
The annual convention will feature approximately 870 exhibitors selling wildlife parts from animal heads to hides, as well as trophy hunting trips to kill animals including black bears, wolves, leopards and elephants. As the UK government conducts a consultation on introducing a ban on hunting trophy imports, exhibitors at SCI will offer hunts to kill Roe and Muntjac deer in England for $7,000, red deer in Scotland for $4,200, as well as a range of animals in EU countries such as wild boar in Italy and Kri Kri ibex in Greece. Wolf hunts in Macedonia and brown bear hunts in Russia will also be sold. Additionally, 45 hunting outfitter exhibitors from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain and the UK will be at the convention. The SCI event takes place February 5 – 8.
Records from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species show that a staggering 2,260 trophy parts from more than 50 CITES-listed species were exported to the UK between 2008 and 2017. The top five exporting nations were South Africa, Canada, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana. These UK imports included 565 trophies from African elephants, 303 from hippos and 265 from American black bears. The macabre haul included 262 ‘skins’, 249 ‘skulls’, 53 ‘feet’ and 16 ‘tails’.
Jeff Flocken, president of Humane Society International, said, “The trophy hunting industry’s conservation claim is shattered by SCI’s promotion of and profit from killing rare and imperiled animals. Trophy hunting is a colonial hangover, it’s unethical, ecologically devastating, and inflicts cruelty on wild animals. British hunters buying hunts overseas and foreign hunters buying hunts in the UK both want to be able to bring their trophies home. A comprehensive UK ban on imports and exports of hunting trophies would be a major nail in the coffin of this cruel and archaic industry.”
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “This annual event is the largest meeting in the world of people who celebrate the senseless killing, buying and selling of dead animals for bragging rights. As our planet suffers an extinction crisis, it is business as usual for the trophy hunting industry and SCI, who continue to revel in spending millions of dollars every year to destroy imperiled wildlife.”
According to reports, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is slated to attend this year’s convention to accept an award. Last year, the government of Botswana lifted a ban on elephant hunting in the country, for which he received SCI’s praise, despite local and international backlash and opposition from elephant experts.
- Humane Society International (UK): Wendy Higgins, +44 (0)7989 972 423, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Humane Society of the United States: Rodi Rosensweig, 203-270-8929, RRosensweig@humanesociety.org
Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 25 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org.