Top of page.

Green Liberal Democrats

We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off

Let's Ban trophy hunting Video with Ed Goncalves + (CEO Ban Trophy Hunting) + Catherine Bearder (Former MEP)

March 7, 2021 12:38 AM

"Let's Ban trophy hunting"


Ed Goncalves + (CEO Ban Trophy Hunting) + Catherine Bearder (Former MEP)


( Video transcripts are Being edited by GLD Volunteers,we will update this page with improved transciption soon i hope. Please contact us if you have time to spend on this and enjoy subediting.)

over to you thank you Caron i was just reflecting that i i had to go down and get a cup of tea because i was helping to chair the previous session i'm just reflecting i feel as though i'm sort of in the matrix now this this computer is my life uh and has been for the last fortnight i'm not quite sure what happens after the weekend um pippa welcome to the stage Pippa Heylings: thank you keith we're going to be sharing what i think is going to be a really interesting session um this is the last session for today but we are going to have a couple of sessions tomorrow with uh another look at the film 2040. if you haven't seen it yet then you should uh it really is a fascinating film and a really good platform for encouraging others to see what we are talking about and um i think the the best comment from one of the audience on the first showing was ah that's what donald economics is about so it really does explain donut economics okay um shall we get going it's only in our session and we need to bring our speakers onto the stage karen if you would be so kind uh we've got ed gonzal ed gonzalez who is the founding director of the campaign to ban trophy hunting and as chief executive uh of um oh it escapes me and i haven't got it trophy hunting campaign demand no no no i'm saying i was just about to say he was he was banning um fox hunting earlier on in his life uh and catherine Bearder who arrived before ready got onto this day so welcome catherine um good to see you here uh again one of our i hate to say one of our former meps but we were just discussing in the previous session i'm not sure whether you were there that our meps are probably going to act as a central hook to hang on the campaigning for environmental issues so be ready to be called into the fray catherine um i think eddie is going to go first eddie gonzalez good to see you happy today it's a long time since we've uh long time since i've seen uh you keith and uh yeah right here i think well i've got a bit as well so i'm catching up i'm catching up uh anyway thank you very much and thanks very much for inviting me and uh to talk a bit about uh this issue um i thought what i'd do is give you a bit of an overview first of all of what trophy hunting is what's going on at the moment you know what are the issues around it and where we are with policy and where we probably need to be um so first of all just sheer numbers uh there are estimates that something like 1.7 million animals have been shot by trophy hunters over the last decade alone um and we certainly know from uh data from societies that between 300 to 350 000 protected animals are uh i have been shot by uh trevor hunters and when i say protected these are animals that are uh listed by sighties the convention on international trade in endangered species um and uh so the sort of species that we're talking about uh for example black bears uh between 120 130 000 black bears alone have been shot in the last decade um and many of them in canada uh the african big five are very very popular so that's elephants african elephants lions leopards black and white rhinos and also kate buffalo but many other species as well you know hippos cheetah hunted um and you'd probably be very surprised to hear that even polar bears are also hunted in canada canada is the only place you can do this they banned it in russia and america but you can still hunt polar bears for sport and trophies in canada uh for the brits um so british tribunals like african elephants in particular uh it is the most popular hunting trophy animal uh for british trophy hunters um and uh also bricks also like a lot of primates uh so there's about a dozen different species of different monkey and baboon uh that uh british hunters like to take the shakma baboon is very popular the vervet a monkey also very popular zebras also very very popular the other thing that british hunters like to shoot a lot are what are called canned lions so these are lions that have been bred in captivity and they're shot in fenced in enclosures um and the growth of the canned hunting industry has been absolutely enormous in recent years there was actually a documentary by roger cook if people remember him back in 1997 which first exposed it this and at that time there were probably about maybe a dozen of these breeding facilities and captive hunting places in south africa there's now about 320 and something like 6 000 lion cubs are bred every year in these facilities largely for uh canned hunting also partly for the lion bone trade so quite often the trophy hunter will take the head and the skin taxidermist turns it into a trophy and then the operator actually sells the bones the skeleton off to um asian markets asian dealers which turned into lion wine lion cake and so on and this actually subsidized subsidizes the cost of the line trophy um so it helps make it much cheaper and also the fact that you're not having to spend you know three weeks in the bush in tanzania or wherever after a wildline but actually it's all there in an enclosure you cut down on your professional hunter fees your accommodation costs so it's actually cut price hunting and there's been absolutely huge growth so british line hunters they go almost entirely exclusively to south africa which is the hub of this industry and in fact since 2014 every single south african lion trophy that's come back to britain has been of a canned lion so shot in an enclosure um interestingly though lord i refer to ken lions partly because lord ashcroft has been doing quite a bit of work on this and we've helped with some of that research but actually canned hunting isn't reserved just for lions so there's other big cats that are involved so leopards uh but actually you'd be surprised there's canned zebras um there's there's actually a canned tiger hunting industry in fact i'm just bringing out today the uh paperback version of my second book on the trophy hunting industry there we go little wogan-esque plug there that's called killing game the extinction industry and one of the things i do in there is i name a company in south africa which is right now offering cannes tiger and canned jaguar hunts so there's also canned bear hunts and in fact if you go to texas in particular in the states there are oh my goodness hundreds of places where uh if you want to go and shoot a giraffe or a zebra um you don't want to get on plane to africa you can just pop down to texas and do it there uh they even let you shoot kangaroos there so this is a huge industry uh it's a the safari club international which is the main industry group reckons it's worth about 200 million that is probably about right but and it's important to recognize it doesn't just happen in africa it also happens in north america but increasingly in eastern europe and asia as well so a lot of the former soviet countries south pacific et cetera et cetera it's a global industry um and and there's a lot of money being made from it and particularly from the exotics industry uh in texas uh where there's something like a million of these animals that have been bred you know the african animals and they're being bred in in texas just so people can go shoot them um on these private estates um one of the big problems is well people ask me well hang on a minute you're talking about polar bears being shot cheaters being shot leopards being shot surely these are protected animals you've just said they're protected well they are in law at least in theory the problem is that societies the convention on international trade endangered species it exempts trophy hunting effectively so it considers hunting trophies to be personal or household effects so it's a bit like going to ikea you know the lion's head above the fireplace it's just like getting a piece of furniture therefore it's not considered commercial trade and so you know the regulations largely don't apply uh to hunting trophies and that's why um you know you do have the hunting of polar bears which you know are one of the most endangered animals on the planet threatened by climate change and so on the numbers of animals have been hunted in recent times so if you look at in the 19th century when the brits effectively went down to africa and colonized and took all the the trophy hunters with them about 20 million animals were shot by british trophy hunters in the 19th century alone and then the americans joined in particularly after the second world war lots of cheap rifles and cheap steam passages and so on so theodore roosevelt after he stepped down as president and the u.s went on a year-long hunting trip and shot hundreds of animals and lots of americans went after him after that um and it's become much more organized and commercial and so you have these game ranches in south africa it's all very planned and organized and so on um so it's it's a major industry today and lots of animals are being killed it is one of if not the main reason why so many of our species today actually are in the state that they're in because so many animals were killed and have been killed over such a uh relentlessly over a prolonged period but there's another factor here it's not just the numbers because what trophy hunters like to do is they go for the biggest animals and the biggest animals because they look the most impressive in your trophy room or above the mantelpiece or wherever you put them but also in order to get into the records books of the hunting industry so the hunting industry on the one hand encourages people to shoot lots and lots of animals it has all of these awards uh so safari club international for example has eighty eight zero different awards schemes uh some of them require to short at least 100 different species of animal around the world there's one prize actually you have to effectively have got killed 300 different species and in my first book which i brought out a few months ago which is trophy hunters exposed i named some individuals who have single-handedly shot two thousand four thousand six thousand animals so these are the numbers that are are happening so as well as the numbers of animals that are being shot they're being encouraged to shoot the biggest animals in order to get into the records books they're kind of equivalent of the guinness book of records just called the sci records book um and what this is doing is it's called it's artificial selection it's very opposite of natural selection so what you're doing is you're taking the biggest and the fittest and the strongest animals out of the gene pool and what you're doing is leaving the smallest weakest animals to breed and pass on their genes to future generations um and we're now seeing some very well clear effects in fact one of the things that i've put in this new book which is out today is i've acquired uh previously unseen hunting industry data which shows conclusively just from the i mean there's scientific studies that show this as well but the hunting industry's own data shows that african elephant's tusks are getting dramatically shorter lions heads are getting dramatically smaller even polar bear trophies are getting smaller so this is all as a result of artificial selection and what that means is in evolutionary terms is that those species are going to be less able and less likely to be able to adapt to change a changing environment and of course accelerating climate change is one very good example of that and in fact if you look at the case of african elephants so they got shorter tusks in fact many more adult elephants now have no tusks whatsoever now in the in the drought season they need those big strong tusks in order to find the water from underneath the dry riverbeds they don't have those tusks they're more likely to die from drought and obviously there's greater risks of diseases and so on so forth so it's accelerating the extinction process which unfortunately so many of our most iconic wildlife species are already facing um so that's just sort of a quick overview oh and by the way the other thing i'd say about the regime that uh covers or rather lets trophy hunters get away with it is that it's being actively used by wildlife traffickers so you cannot go to africa in order to shoot a rhino and take its horn to sell you can go to africa shoot the same rhino and take the same horn and bring it home as a hunting trophy as a personal household effect and then you do with it whatever you like i mean because nobody is going to actually be policing you or following you so in in the last decade in fact well about five six years ago there was this thai kingpin um who had this enormous operation where he was literally flying out vietnamese peasants and prostitutes to south africa with him and they'd go trophy hunting for rhino and so a quarter of all the rhinos that are being legally hunted as hunting trophies every year were actually being smuggled into the wildlife trafficking system and this was going on and then this guy was eventually bust and that network has been dismantled but now what's happening is that the uh the chinese who were the prime customers they're not now going direct to the source they've cut out the middleman so i've also just revealed that now right now the chinese are the biggest trophy hunters in inverted commas of white rhinos on the planet so far more hunting trophies of white rhinos are taken by chinese so-called trophy hunters than any other nationality and and you see this in all i mean so for example uh bears which have been obvious uh frequently trafficked for their uh gall bladders you know for the bile for so-called traditional chinese medicines which by the way the chinese authorities are now promoting as a treatment for kobe 19. so even polar bears have been shot for their gallbladders but it's been listed as a hunting trophy it's gone into hong kong obviously going into china we know what happens then but it's all been done legally and the these these are trophies or if you like gallbladders that actually got into china perfectly legally using the cytis system and even genitalia by the way also a bear genitalia is very popular in the system anyway so what's wrong with um trophy hunting well probably i've covered a little bit already but obviously it's anachronism i mean how is it that we can live in a world where we treat our fellow creatures in this way you know if we are simply viewing uh other sentient and sapient creatures as things that we can use um that is really part of the problem that we're all addressing here whether it's climate change whether it's resource depletion it's exactly the same issue we are not understanding the value of living things of our ecosystems and so on so this is clearly a mindset and an attitudinal problem that we need to address but there's other issues as well so we know for example that actually a lot of the animals that are targeted by trophy hunters suffer enormously it's a major animal welfare issue uh so something like half of all animals don't don't get killed instantly in fact you know we this week obviously it's just been the fifth anniversary of the killing of cecil the lion and of course he was shot with a a bow at about 10 o'clock on the on monday night on the night of the first of july and he was left in agony the trophy had went back to camp along with a professional hunter they went back the following morning to see if they could find him to see if he died yet he hadn't they couldn't actually see him he was gurgling because of all the blood in his lungs and that's how they were able to detect him and finally they dispatched him uh walter palmer dispatching with the second hour the reason he did that by the way is because uh walter park one of the prizes that you can get with safari club international and walter palmer's won several prizes with them uh is as a bowhunter so they encourage um the the shooting of animals with novelty weapons so bow and arrow crossbow black powder muzzle rifle so it's an old style uh rifle and so on and so you get special prizes for shooting animals with diff and handguns handguns as well being becoming extremely so shooting the africa big five with effectively a large pistol and you can get an extra prize for that and of course you're causing even more suffering because it's very difficult you know to shoot something you're usually going to be shooting from about 200 yards the animal's got to stay absolutely still and if you're going for a big cat they really do um and you also they try not to go for the brain shot which is most likely to lead to an instantaneous kill because that will spoil the aspect of the trophy so what they do is they try to do a heart lung shot through the shoulder these are incredibly difficult shots to take so anyway 50 of animals aren't killed instantly and in fact a great number of them are lost so they they you know they stagger off into the bush badly badly wounded the hunter can't find them again because they're in the scrub and they end up dying several days later from shock sepsis infection and so on and so forth so it's a major issue there um and and in terms of conservation it is still a major major threat and we now know from a number of studies particularly with the lion that trophy hunting has been the major cause of the collapse of lion populations throughout africa over the last few years so line populations around the time the second world war they're about half a million we're talking about 20 000 now and the numbers of lines that are being shot are enormous so in the last decade about ten thousand lions of which half were wild lions and half were canned lions in these uh these lion factory farms where you can shoot them in an enclosure so proportionately the numbers are colossal and again the impacts of artificial uh selection and you're taking out a key pride member so then if you're taking out the pride male then you've got other males that will come in to try and take over the pride and that could then lead to infanticides so it has a huge knock-on effect on on the prize the same happens um with with elephants what often happens is if you take out the big mul bull elephant the big male elephant um then that particular herd won't have the controlling influence of that on the younger males and they tend to exhibit behavior very similar to juvenile delinquents who grow up without a father figure this has been shown in multiple studies and so you've got more problem animals of course because they'll start behaving aggressively towards humans going into encroaching on human uh settlements and then of course more animals are shot as a result of that so it's an escalating effect um and we also know now for the first time that when you stop trophy hunting so there's been a number of moratoria that have been implemented for different species and different regions and different countries different when you stop trophy hunting animal populations recover now it sounds like that that's common sense but the reason i say that and i have to specify it is because people think well why is it that if we know all of this that there hasn't been policy change why has it been so little policy change and one of the reasons is that the trophy hunting industry is very well organized and it has developed this narrative which says that trophy hunting supports conservation and essentially the argument is that when you shoot an animal like cecil the lion for example you know the hunter pays a trophy fee that goes to the local government that goes back into conservation plus there's a in an incentive not to transform that habitat into agricultural land for example this is baloney and and my second book is absolutely focused on on dismantling that argument on investigating it and seeing if it holds water and it's and it doesn't uh let's take actually the example of cecil since i mentioned him so walter palmer when he shot cecil he would have paid a trophy of something like thirty thousand dollars and let's let's assume for a moment that that thirty thousand dollars went into the government wildlife department the reality is that the money just disappears but anyway let's for the sake of argument say this money those thirty thousand dollars went to the government for wildlife conservation purposes now the costs of conserving an animal an individual line like cecil and his habitat has been worked out by andrew loveridge who was the oxford university scientist who radio collared cecil at it being about a million dollars so 30 000 doesn't even come close but what can actually cover the costs of the conservation and also actually creates much more in terms of jobs and and other benefits for local communities is nature tourism so an individual line like cecil can generate something like a hundred thousand dollars a year on his own through photographic safaris and so on so the average lifetime of or life span rather or a line like cecil is going to be about 15 years it covers the costs and handsomely so um and in terms of the benefits the local communities and this argument well you know there's an incentive not to transform the land well again nature tourism does a much better job uh in fact there was a study that came out just a few months ago that showed that if for example south africa were to make an organized transition from trophy hunting to nature tourism it would create 11 times as many jobs for people in poor rural communities in south africa and in fact their studies in botswana and elsewhere that suggest a figure could even be higher 30 40 times but anyway even a conservative figure says 11 times as many jobs um so why is it still going on yes can i stop you you said again i i'm i'm fascinated and i i was just so fascinated listening to what you were saying that i wasn't doing my job as chair i wasn't working on time um it's incredible and i i just in awe of the work you've been doing we will get to some questions and and i think you can answer some of those questions uh seriously but catherine i'm going to ask you what do we do about this from a legislative point of view from a public relations point of view from a political point of view i know you've been trying when you were in europe and i think you've made some headway but clearly it is a problem that we need to carry on struggling with it is and it's um it is a complicated subject because as you've just heard uh it's far-reaching it's a huge amount of money um and it's very well organized uh for the trophy hunting and and the topic today is trophy hunting um but there's a couple of things that i want to say i mean europe um the eu has derogations on trophies uh the uh societies is very weak as we've heard scientists and organizations remember let's remember this to regulate trade in wild animals plants and species uh so everything so all sorts of things um and its data is always a bit late uh there are huge lobbying organizations within societies and it confuses and it gets muddled up with even the illegal stuff and the illegal stuff i'll get to in a minute um the interesting thing is uh despite the um chinese still going for the cats uh the big trophy hunters the the big money has come from the us and that is disappearing like snow in spring covert is helping because they're not going to africa um and a recession is also going to be difficult for that um so it is denting that but what they're finding is the big reserves in africa are finding that actually hunting trophy is not pain i'm involved with i-4 international fund for animal welfare who's just taken over now two concessions in zimbabwe which is where cecil was killed and they found that it's just not economically viable and we're now doing conservation work the elephants are coming back the lions are building up again um and uh there is more money to be made in conservation than there ever was in for for the animals for the wild areas for the people who have to live with them um than ever was with uh trophy hunting so i mean i think there's a a glimmer of hope from the americans and from the europeans it isn't actually the brits that do much of the trophy hunting spanish um the czech danes and um other european countries to some extent but the majority is the americans and canadians um but the big problem is that the trophies that come out of the the let's call it legal trophy hunty distort the market they uh create a market that encourages the illegal wildlife trade uh and that is what i've been involved in in mostly in the european union um trying to tackle the the elite the wildlife trade um there are lions we know that the the uh they like them for medicine and uh uh all the sorts of things that uh well i'll call them cats rather than because lions those who like dead animals to put on their walls like lions but the the chinese who want medicine they're not fast whether it's it's jaguars tigers lions or whatever it is as long as it's a cat bone rhinos for their horns the difficult with rhinos especially in southern africa is that they are easily easily farmed you can actually have a farm with a lot of rhinos on there and they the argument is that unless you can have a profit out of rhinos you're not going to save them um i dispute that argument but there is but even in conservation circles you hear that argument elephants and hippos hippo bone uh hippo tusks are very similar to lions and they are now being taken to feed the the ivory markets for trinkets and for medicines and there are very good examples that conservation can pay baronga is one where they have the the great apes the the gorillas um but as i say in zimbabwe they're now actually showing that if you take out the trophy hunting you can make those wild areas work uh what i was doing in the european parliament was uh i managed to get the european commission to come forward with this oh it comes back to front when you hold it up on this soon i forgot about that uh the the eu action plan on wildlife trafficking but i was also involved with the invasive alien species and that's the pectorate pet the petrate is a huge driver of the removal of wild animals from from the wild and most of the amphibians that come into the pet trade live for about two years once they leave the pet shop and there is a huge driver for fish every tuesday there is an enormous warehouse in heathrow that fills up with fish collected from the sea so illegally because nobody knows what's in there uh wild animals are coming into the food chain there is not a frog farm in france any longer they they grow some in bulgaria but most of them come from the far east from the paddy fields where they're just collected nobody knows what they are what species they are uh and they just catch the frogs pull their legs off and and um poor creatures are left there um insects uh are collected for collectors for for moths and butterflies beautiful anything that's beautiful wild flowers are taken from the wild but one of the biggest illegally traded um wild product is timber and we know the decimation that you take down a forest you take all the animals and and the ecosystem with it and that is something that i've been working on and the criminal activity behind that is now in terms of money the fourth largest criminal activity on the planet behind drugs behind guns behind human beings and you will very often find that they're the same gangs they don't care whether they are shipping kids about monkeys about or or guns they just stick them in the back of the truck and if they can make money um it's not just limited to third world i realize i've got a clock in this room and it's just chime so i've got i apologize for that um it isn't just uh the the developing world that is the source of these things i was talking to a police officer one part of the the report that i wrote in the european parliament was um in response to the human to the wildlife trafficking uh report and i managed to get more money going into europol so that they could fight it because most of the the the the problem is that uh ignorance of of traffic of the customs officers uh corruption um and the demand and the fact that the borders are open but i managed to get more police officers uh and especially in london where there's a lot of animals and plants on route and i met one of the police officers from the met and she was telling me that she said oh it's really good we've got an extra police officer and i think that was of all the work that i've done in my political career that was um one of the nicest things to hear because she was telling me that you know all the way around from my work in the parliament uh it was helping her and she said we've just done a big bust in east london oh finches they knew that finches were being bought and sold in a pub in east london and she told me and they uh she said we bust the gang and there were 40 finches in in the back of a van in in london and collected them and i said well where are these finches from thinking they were exotic beautiful looking birds and she said no they get them from the marshes in um essex and then sell them so the british finches are being sold illegally here so um you know that's that's amazing eels from france are being sold uh to to uh the east because they're they're worth five pounds each eel glacial so uh caviar is another one so the the what we have to do starting with reducing the market and hunting trophies the big trophies the skins the the heads the horns the elephant feet tables and all the stupid things that human beings make out of dead animals drives the market and it distorts the market and because they're so called legal then then it's very difficult to tell we have now in the uk a ban on ivory which is which is great i don't know how much enforcement is going on with that we have now in belgium and france is the same uh that they will not allow ivory and uh in australia they're nearly that way as well but there are too many legal routes for these things to come through that uh distort that the other the other big issue of uh collection from the wild is bushmeat and i'm afraid with with um covid and the shutdown across many of the communities around these wild areas they are now turning to collect bushmeat uh and doing poaching local poaching is now getting a bit more of a problem in certain areas in east africa and eastern central and south africa where people are now taking meat from the world and that's another big problem but until we stop the markets you can't actually put your finger on it and say this is illegal uh so it's it's it's a continuum uh much the way as we've gone with drugs okay catherine thank you very much indeed just read out a comment from chat i i put a comment into chat saying we hadn't got many questions and jason is saying not sure i can phrase a question just speechless one of the other things we do we do have we do have a question as well i do have a question sorry i'm speechless as well so we do so we have a question from jane brophy and i don't know if jane would like to pose that question because i think it's good because you've both mentioned um soonosis and you know the the source of the current pandemic but obviously we know that there's the possibility of future pandemics um too so is jane there jane is joining us and she's muted but will be unmuted any second now hi welcome back to the stage i had to come on to say hi to eddie and catherine my friends i do have a question a serious question um which i'm delighted to be able to ask my question if i can find it it was on screen somewhere it's i think one of the problems we've got jane is that zoom sometimes knocks the view of your question to you when you come onto this i can see it jane do you want me very well written shall i read it i i will ask it and then if i miss anything out you add to my question my question it's about the facts i mean i share the speaker's passion about killing animals for pleasure and i think we can link these environmental problems can't we because if you kill animals and you harm their habitat you harm the environment if you have a practice of eating meat and you mix animals on wet markets what we've seen is a combination of things happen we're we're now having a cloving pandemic and that's certainly in my opinion related to how we treat animals so i'd like to get the panels comments on those and people if you want to add anything i missed out on my question please do yeah because you went to the same and jason's actually put it in the chat box which is the same thing which is so how can we persuade humans to move away from these practices that are leading to the global environmental and health crisis and jason's the same and how do we persuade humans to move away from these eddie over to you yeah i'll have a bash at that um as with all things uh there are generally two instruments for changing uh behavior one is laws the other is a raising awareness and challenging people's behavior and i think both come into play here um as catherine very rightly pointed out cities is not a conservation treaty and and i think there's sometimes uh a naive belief that it somehow is it's not it's a it's a regulatory trade or agreement that's what it is um and and it's it's certainly failing at wildlife here and i think we do need to look at different legislative instruments which both address the export and the import and the transport um obviously in the uk we're doing a lot of work at the moment on getting the government to bring in an uh an import ban on hunting trophies and in fact we're working with partners in uh european countries and soon uh in north america as well on the same uh so the demand side and then there's obviously the supply side and we're working with african groups uh similarly trying to help them um and work with them uh in changing policy particularly in countries like south africa which are uh increasingly letting game ranchers and these big cap breeders get get away with murder so there's that i mean i ultimately think that we probably need to be going down the abolition route in other words by seeking a form of a treaty or convention similar to what we have for land mines or chemical weapons or the whaling convention which effectively outlaws uh trophy hunting as an industry as a so-called sport um you know we in britain we got rid of bear baiting and dog fighting 200 years ago um by those means i think that's effectively where we need to be going but there's the attitude and the behavioral thing as well and what's very interesting is that actually china has just overtaken germany as the second largest importer of all hunting trophies uh so there's been something like a two thousand percent increase uh in hunting trophy imports in china for the last uh over the last decade uh germany was always up there spain was up there but that that's falling back um and and partly it's because of the uh the the way that the society's regime facilitates wildlife trafficking but also because of the growth of a new wealthy middle class in china and so there was actually the very first uh hunting show in china last year in in shanghai in july it was and you had a number of south african companies there they were selling canned tiger hunts they were selling black rhino hunts i mean everything was up there and the chinese were buying um so there's there's work there one one of the really big problems i think is this concept of wildlife utilization and sometimes also called sustainable use right so essentially animals are seen by a there's a there's a community of people some in the scientific world but generally uh in the trophy hunting world and the hunting world as a whole that sees animals as a natural resource and much to say was we might see coal or corn or water or anything and it is there to be exploited and you know it has no intrinsic value other than that what we give when we hunt it or when we eat it or when we burn it or what whatever we do with it it does not have intrinsic value and there's actually a group within the iucn so the global world conservation union called the sustainable use and livelihoods group um and this is actually a group which is a lobby group for the hunting industry and it has a number of very well-known hunting industry figures within it people like shane mahoney who's you know one of the biggest figures in in north america in the hunting industry and in fact he chairs the north american committee of of the suli group but there's a number of them um and and this is actually one of the things that has happened i wish that you know the hunting industry has done very effectively from their point of view is they've been able to get inside uh you know the conservation organizations and they're able to uh lobby and and change policy from within and they're also doing the same with the political system so i mean safari club international has since the year 2000 spent 140 million dollars on lobbying and that's one trophy hunting organization that's without you talking about the dallas safari club the the houston safari club the conservation force conservation force is actually a front group for the trophy hunting industry it has a number of its members on different iucn specialist committees look we've got here what you're saying is you know on the one side it's the demand and supply and it's outlawing and you think on the outlawing side rather than going to the sustainable use side which is with even within the conservation organizations and lobby catherine what do you think there's a question about how do we get the be you know the behavior change if you've got this huge lobby um force that's infiltrated um those who are around the table yeah i think that there's two issues here the the the trophy hunting uh lob groups are not shooting animals to eat them they're choosing they're shooting them to to hang on the walls you know bizarre as that sounds um and they are well money well equipped uh with all sorts of hardware that they go out and do that uh and uh they are finding that that's not necessarily sustainable and so they're having to to shoot different animals you see pictures of them now shooting with a with a high velocity rifle shooting at giraffe now giraffe just stand there and look at you uh there's no sport in that and i think there is a a way that we can look at uh changing their behavior if you through legislation through public um perception although in in america it's a different it's the same as gun ownership you know it's uh changing people's behavior but what um jane was asking about is is eating wild meat and the white markets and this is where kovids come from it's where ebola is thought to have come from as well um and uh has always been uh people who live with wildlife have always eaten wildlife i mean you know we we have done here venison and uh wildfowl and we might not like it but if it's done sustainably um it's been going on for millennia the problem is we now have too many people uh who want to eat wild meat we have too many people using the land that the wild animals used to be on so the the biggest threat the biggest of any other threat uh to wildlife is human encroachment into into the wild areas um and and they have tools now what used to be uh where a guy a bushman would go out with a bow and arrow and kill for the pot uh is he now goes out with a gun and he kills five or six uh different animals um and he can take them into town and sell them in the markets and then it becomes a trade and then the roads are going further and further out so he has better access uh and all the people the the the older people that you talk to they now say yes but the wild meat is getting smaller and smaller and smaller they're eating squirrels they're eating snakes they never used to it used to be perhaps a monkey for wedding a high day and holiday it was it was if they ate monkeys and that monkeys were rarely eaten but now they're eating different foods and and more often and they're taking much much more so it is a behavior change um and i i worry that i think one of the biggest um results of the the covid crisis that we're going through at the moment is the start of a global food security uh issue uh there are farmers who are not farming stuff now because they're sick or they're they're dying off we know climate change is also going to do that and that is going to cause huge pressure on wild areas where they're unprotected if you talk to the people who run virunga which is a wonderful example of getting local communities they they have sustainable livestock that they eat and they they they now in the in the in the barunga regions find it abhorrent to eat bush meat and so it is a it is a behavioral change and it is something that uh it can be done but in the face of starving uh if you are starving and your family has nothing to eat and there is a monkey in the tree i'm afraid uh you know you you're going to be driven to take that monkey rather than see your family staff so that's that's a problem on the on the point of middle class um uh the growth of the middle class in china that is also driving a huge um attack on wild animals in the in the form of live animals for zoos the number of of towns and and cities that have grown up in in china with the new modern club middle class where they have they now go to work and they want to do something at the weekend so they want to go to a museum which is why the the antique market is still buoyant even in hard times and they want to go to a zoo and a park and there are elephants being shipped out there are rhinos we shipped out uh live animals young live animals shipped out to these zoos um it's just it's help it's a horrid horrid thing to take them from the wild and do that um next to the question from jane thank you for that really really good question that stimulated so much and we have one also from josie um and wondering you know how do governments in each of the countries deal with if they start to do well around for example she's talking about botswana is josie there do you want to put your question josie she hasn't no raising of the hand no raising the handle she was saying i was like she is good hi josie the floor is yours hello hello yes i was in botswana with my late husband in 2015 and we had a wonderful experience and the guides were very knowledgeable about their country and the school children were on big boats learning about um the conservation and all the animals and now that the government's changed there i've been reading so much on social media about um how now there's this poaching going on elephants being killed there was a whole lot of dead elephants around a waterhole and so it's it i think it is dependent as well on the governments of the day so uh you know it's such a difficult question how do we i mean you know there was there was a different government in 2015 he was generating a love of of the animals and wild animals from the school children all the way through to the tourism guides and everything and and now there's a new government and it's it's all about making profits so um how would you address this so that's a really good question again it's kind of kind of coming back to that point of you know is it cities is it a different way to have a kind of treaty to to outline this because that's where we get control on governments and the trade what do you think ed um well it is very interesting what's happening in botswana because yes they actually banned all trophy hunting back in 2014 president was ian karma who was really trying to boost the nature tourism sector and very successfully so actually one of the reasons they abandoned uh trophy hunting there's two reasons two main reasons one is that uh trophy hunting was really bad at creating jobs for people in rural areas and so they switched to nature tourism as a way of creating more jobs and opportunities and income the other was because elephant populations were falling and botswana is really really important for african elephants one third of all the world's wild african elephants live in botswana it's got twice as many african elephants as any other african country it is critical for the survival of the species numbers were going down so ian karma brought in a ban and what happened the population stabilized and some say actually it even improved it recovered so then you had uh it was actually the same government but it was a it was um ian karma's vice president who became a successor uh maquis massisi and unbeknownst to anyone he decided that he was going to bring back trophy hunting um now we do know that there's been an awful lot of lobbying uh by the hunting industry if you look for example actually well you can't because uh um uh they keep it away but if you like me you'll know you know how to get into it the safari club international online records book shows just how good or it boasts about how good the quality of the elephant tusks are in botswana so botswana elephants are really prized by trophy hunters in order to get into the records book for your trophy elephant by the way you actually have to shoot the animal with the biggest tusks so the way they score you is by weighing the two tasks together and it's the the weight in pounds it's got to be over a certain amount and if it's over that amount you get into this hallowed records book um so it's caused a lot of controversy uh in in africa and in fact ian karma has left the party the political party which his own father founded and there's uh there's a lot of opposition from civic movements there's an umbrella uh democracy group for uh in in botswana i can't remember the anyway they've actually put out a call to the international community to boycott botswana um until it changes its mind now i actually think that britain has a key role here because britain is whether we like it or not still actually quite influential in southern africa and i think that if britain were to implement a comprehensive import ban on hunting trophies that will have huge repercussions that will have you know sent a really powerful ripple effect throughout southern africa so i would say the first thing we've got to do actually is to make sure that the government or whichever government comes next is able to put in place a comprehensive import ban we're very very close to it it was in everyone's mind that's the question catherine is that possible what what's stopping the uk from doing an all-out ban or political will uh we we're we're better placed than we were because we had had two princes we've got one prince now uh who were really pushing gov to do it while golf was the environment minister um it's interesting in in botswana i was there just before their election met went uh cover the environment karma the environment minister um and uh the problem was that the elephant population had recovered considerably and we're now threatening farmers and farmers of course were encroaching on the elephant territory uh and it was a vote winner that will shoot the elephants it will save your crops and shoot the elephants and that that was a real problem and of course the then you get the lobbying comes in behind it there is also a a a route a migratory route that comes from them it's up in the north west uh crossing the the river up in the northwest and that concentrates them and when i first started doing this in 2013-14 talking with my colleagues on the african caribbean pacific joint parliamentary assembly when we were looking at sightings trying to get the elephant ban the the ban on selling they were there was a real pressure to have another sale of ivory and we were really trying to stop it and i said to my botswana colleagues because they were saying look we've got all these elephant tusks that elephants die and they collect the tusks and it's going to be worth money and we can put that into conservation uh and i said look you know it's it's the same if you create the market when they've killed every elephant in africa where are they going to come they're going to come to botswana and that is what's happening now the poachers are moving in because there's hardly any left in zambia malala we've nearly gone certainly in central and north africa the the elephants are in in terrible populated situations so what happened with last year one of the ways we're going to stop this is to stop the markets which is why we need to have a ban we need on on all wildlife products that are covered by uh that are in any way endangered you think catherine the the english british uk mps are likely to listen to a a campaign and if so what scale of campaign do we need in terms of communicating with mps is it is it something you've found any empathy yeah there isn't there is it's much more of an open door it it'll be easier to get the uk to do it there's much more of an open door as i say job is very much on that side he was they held a big wildlife conference uh when they were trying to fight brexit and and and get us out of the european union they shut the door and everybody from europe uh i had to beg for a pass to get there um and uh but gov is very keen and and and the princes are very keen prince giles prince william and prince harry are very keen that we shut down this market so it is an open door but it's you know other things are taking their minds at the moment um if they thought it was a vote bit winner they'd do it tomorrow uh but they they all busy with covid and everything else and and then it's going to be the economy but we can can we link it to can we link it to covert i mean this is one of those things that we probably i think i think it's easier to link it to wildlife trade and trophies are the first step uh there is this derogation that of course you know if you're coming back from india and grandfather shot a tiger and you've got the tiger skin rug of course you know but it belongs to me i could you know it's a it's a treasure but we found with ivory you can say look you can't sell it you can't move it across borders you can't sell it that takes its commercial value away it doesn't mean to say you have to destroy it you can get grandma can give it to you but you cannot sell it so that's some that's the route to go down i want to share something with you um i'm going to share a picture with you i bought it on the day that uh with the world trade buildings were blown up i was down in london and um i bought this and i was taking it home with me when i saw all the people watching televisions through the windows um and i picked this up and the reason i picked this up was that my father's cousin was in india before the war and he was taken out one day by the local uh gentry uh to shoot tiger i have to say he didn't shoot a tiger he saw a tiger in the darkness and he was scared by the tiger's eyes but it his story about not being able to shoot a tiger made me like this picture and i'm going to show you this picture it's a naive study by an indian artist and when i turn it around i'll be able to tell you the indian artist's name but here's the picture and the artist's name is namrita sharma and it's an oil painting it's a naive oil painting and that just tells such a wonderful story um that animals can get their own back um i'm not sure i saw another suggestion the other day that all these hunters should be provided with a very short spear and taken out to the um jungle to fight by themselves with a very short speed do you think that would work eddie very briefly because we're right at the end of the session so i was on piers morgan's show about a year ago with a trophy hunter where piers morgan threatened to spear the hunter live in the studio and hang his skin up on the on the studio wall needless to say that went viral um just in terms of where we're at politically in the uk 86 of people in britain want trophy hunting bands very interestingly when you ask them what kind of band they want 76 percent say on all species only 14 percent want it on just endanger species in other words they consider trophy hunting to be morally wrong this is something that has got more support from mps across the the house of commons we've we've got two edms that have had 150 200 signatures eight nine different political parties so there's very strong support for this in fact zach goldsmith who was one of our founders is now the minister responsible the challenge is actually within defra and the civil servants rather than at the political level if you like even boris gets it politically um and of course his uh partner carrie is also one of our supporters so actually the intransigence is within civil service who don't like change defer is particularly bad at this um and there's still this nagging argument that's there well doesn't it support conservation that's the thing we've got to crush once and for all and that's why i brought out this book today okay well well done for bringing the book out today and i'm going to leave the last political word with catherine and then uh i'm going to get pippa to sum up because i've been just um blown away by all of the stories that we've catherine over to you yes and i think you know that that is hopeful that we've got support in the government of the day um if we have legislation we have to have legislative time we have to have then money go into the law enforcement training and and the rest of it so there are there are obstacles there but um if they wanted to demonstrate you can make laws without european union we could still have done it without the european union as we have done with the ivory band as france and belgium has but it's it's a good one for them to sort of pretend that uh that's we can do it now we're outside the european union um it's good and it would send a message to to europe that this is not possible so it would be a win-win uh if we can do that and certainly save the animals a lot but i think uh economics might be a quicker way through to it because i say in parts of africa now the the hunters are finding that it's not viable um so you know kobe may well be a blessing in disguise when it comes to animal welfare okay thank you i expect there's going to be a lot of clapping in the audience any second now um and i'm going to hand over to pippa for the last word thank you so much i was actually in 1989 i was present at richard leakey's setting fire for the first time in the world to the ivory stockpile in kenya which then led to that first ban and it was political so it was he looked at me said legislation's going to take time it's the big messages it's the big gestures that can take that political momentum with us and so i think we need to look at that and as you're saying so we can go down the legislative um path you said we've got the political will the public support for it but it's also about depressing that trade as you are saying you know and how we get rid of that trade and timber you mentioned catherine i think it's really really important to consider beyond the animals it's the habitat side and that links us back to zoanosis and covid the only thing i'd like us to talk about a bit when we go into the meeting hall as well is um i'm working at the moment in latin america around tim illegal timber um trade from the primary amazon forest during covid 25 of the local leaders that were moving into ecotourism have been assassinated with complete impunity while they're on their farms in lockdown with no security and it's it's the lobbying it's the money that's in there but it's also this mafia illegal side that that is decimating the ones who dare to stand up for this so how can we also make sure that we support you know anybody who from a local side is trying to take this this forward but for me and i think all of us we've just been blown away by the work you've been doing over many many years your knowledge the passion still and the fact that we've just we've just got to do it more than ever now so thank you both so much and let me make a sound for all the applause in the audience thanks a lot we're going to move now to the meeting hall for a chat for perhaps half an hour uh and i just wanted to say a big thank you to eddie and catherine for being with us this afternoon it's been fantastic thank you very much thank you soon fantastic session and yes the link has gone into the chat to all panelists and attendees do um go visit that link once someone from the gld team opens that room you will be able to go in and we'll continue our discussion so thank you very much pippa thank you eduardo thank you catherine and i will see you over there in five or ten minutes um you