VICENZA, Italy —Martina Pluda, director for Italy at Humane Society International/Europe, states the following regarding the announcement by IEG Italian Exhibition Group SpA to discontinue HIT Show, the hunting fair:
“I welcome the decision by IEG Italian Exhibition Group SpA to no longer organize HIT Show, Italy’s largest hunting fair that had 40,000 visitors and hundreds of international exhibitors per year. According to research by Humane Society International/Europe, many outfitters offered trophy hunting trips targeting protected species. In their statement, the company that runs the Vicenza exhibit hall stressed the incompatibility of this event with environmental values and its own mission. Public opinion is consistent with that view. In fact, according to an HSI/Europe poll, 86% of Italians surveyed oppose trophy hunting of all wild animals.
Trophy hunters from the European Union kill thousands of wild animals worldwide, including endangered or threatened species, with Italy being a major trophy destination. In addition to the cruelty and loss of animals who could contribute to a diverse gene pool while the world is facing a biodiversity crisis, it is irresponsible to allow wealthy elites to shoot endangered species for pure pleasure and to promote this practice as a recreational activity. Hunting shows are an important yet disgraceful showcase for outfitters who offer the opportunity to hunt lions, elephants, hippos and many other species for several thousand euros on macabre price lists. The divestment by IEG of the HIT Show is a strong blow to the industry and a clear signal.
Shooting, stuffing, packing and receiving dead animals and their body parts and displaying them in their homes motivates these hunters. An import ban on trophies in more EU countries would effectively help stop the killing of these animals. Already since the last legislature, HSI/Europe’s #NotInMyWorld campaign has been calling for Italy to introduce a ban on the import, export and re-export of hunting trophies obtained from internationally protected species. With the submission of a bill on this issue we have taken the first step. I trust that the next government will want to work to achieve this goal together with us and the Italian people, once and for all.”
- Between 2014 and 2020, Italy imported 437 hunting trophies from internationally protected species such as hippos, elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, brown bears and polar bears.
- Notably, Italy was one of five countries to have imported at least one critically endangered black rhino trophy.
- According to a survey commissioned by HSI/Europe to Savanta ComRes, 86% of Italians surveyed oppose trophy hunting of all wild animals, 88% agree that Italians should not be allowed to import hunting trophies from other countries, and 74% support a total ban on the export and import of dead animal trophies to and from Italy.
- A petition launched by HSI/Europe in Italy has already collected more than 45,000 signatures.
Media contact: Martina Pluda, HSI in Italy’s country director: firstname.lastname@example.org; 3714120885