Anti-Hunting Interests Crash and Burn in the European Union

Europeans Discover Virtues of Armed Self-defense as EU Bureaucrats Seek New Gun Controls
European Union
Safari Club International
Safari Club International

Tucson, AZ -( Anti-hunting activist groups failed miserably in their effort to generate support in the European Union (EU) Parliament for restrictions on hunting and the importation of trophies into EU countries.

Born Free and other European-based anti-hunting interests were hugely unsuccessful in their effort to promote an anti-hunting “Written Declaration” in the EU Parliament. Their very public loss gave the European hunting community a major victory against anti-hunting prejudice and ignorance. SCI, SCI Foundation, and their allies worked together to defeat this effort through the presentation of information establishing the benefits of hunting to wildlife conservation.

The anti-hunting groups introduced a “Written Declaration” on Trophy Hunting to the EU Parliament earlier this year.

The document called on the European Union’s Council and Commission to “examine the possibility of restricting all trophy imports, to ensure proper implementation of the rules by Member States, and to persuade countries that are issuing permits to trophy hunters without due consideration for the impacts of trophy hunting on conservation and animal welfare to discontinue this practice.”

In the European Union, Members of the EU Parliament introduce statements of policy as “Written Declarations.” To succeed, proponents of a Written Declaration must gather the signatures of at least 377 Members of Parliament (MEPs), showing the support of the majority of the Parliament, within a three-month period from entering the document into the official register.

The promoters of the Written Declaration on Trophy Hunting did not even come close to meeting the signature requirement. Despite a major publicity campaign, including a meeting in February at the EU Parliament, they could not persuade a sufficient number of MEPs to sign the declaration. By the deadline, the Written Declaration had collected only 135 signatures and the overwhelming majority of MEPs rejected the falsehoods upon which the document was based.

Instead, most MEPs heeded significant scientific data demonstrating the benefits of international hunting presented by SCI, its European Chapters and SCI’s partners in Europe. For example, on January 26, 2016, SCI, SCI Foundation and European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) joined forces to organize an event for the EU Parliament, with the participation of the EU Intergroup on Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside. Namibia’s Minister of Tourism and the Environment participated and presented concrete examples of how community-based programs involving international hunting have successfully conserved the country’s wildlife. SCI, SCI Foundation and IUCN provided additional examples of successful conservation programs being conducted throughout Africa. Armed with data provided by FACE and the SCI Department of Hunting Advocacy, SCI leaders in Europe persuaded their MEPs not to sign the declaration.

Although SCI is enjoying this victory, there is no time to rest. SCI is gearing up for the next fight. Those who failed with the Written Declaration are already working on another European-based assault on hunting.

For that reason, SCI’s Department of Hunting Advocacy will continue to work with our European Chapters and pro-hunting allies in Europe on strategies that promote hunting and community-based conservation throughout the world.

About Safari Club International:

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation.

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