UK lawmakers urged to stop condescending attitude in debating African trophy hunting

By Abel Karowangoro

A UK parliamentarian has urged fellow lawmakers to stop patronising superiority towards Africa.
Lord Bellingham said this during a House of Lords debate on a proposed law to ban trophy hunting in Africa, which has sharply divided the house.

This reflected the larger schism in the world of conservation around the issue of trophy hunting and wildlife conservation, with one extreme saying trophy hunting and culling of animals should be stopped.
On the other hand, African countries such as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Botswana, who are saddled with excess animals such as elephants argue that hunting for sport will help conservation efforts, including community-led initiatives.

In fact, they argue that they know better, especially after human-wildlife conflict has been an issue.
In the House of Lords last week, Lord Bellingham said:

“If we put our feelings on this before those of the communities, many of the communities that have jobs around big game hunting and conservation will look at alternatives such as more intensive farming, which will eat into the countryside and have a negative impact,” Bellingham said.

“They might also be less keen to control poaching. So getting the communities on side is imperative
There were comments from honourable Members in the other place that the animals should come before the communities in Africa. Frankly, I find that condescending, patronising and insulting,” He said.
Bellingham said the proposed bill It has unravelled substantially because of the number of experts who have come up with very strong arguments to improve it.

“We need to move to a licensing system whereby we use the advisory board on hunting trophies and bolt on to it a certification scheme run in partnership with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, so that in some cases people will be able to apply for a certificate and bring their trophy back,” he said.

He adds that they need a Bill that does what everyone wants it to do—curb a small number of bad practices but allow conservation and sustainability to carry on in African countries, which we should not lecture.

There were comments from honourable Members in the other place that the animals should come before the communities in Africa. Frankly, I find that condescending, patronising and insulting.

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