We condemn the illegal hunting of any animal. We hope that the worldwide publicity about the death of Cecil will spur greater co-operation between our Government, the National Park Authority, conservationists and the professional hunting associations to stamp out illegal hunting.
There are those who want to ban all hunting and the media coverage of the illegal killing of Cecil has fired them up. But the agenda of many of these people is to ban all hunting – not just game hunting. They oppose the stalking and killing in Scotland each year of 100,000 red deer. They oppose the culling of Canadian Geese in London’s Hyde Park. Many of them consider fishing to be cruel and wish to see angling banned too.
Banning what is currently legal hunting would lead to increased illegal hunting (poaching) of our wildlife and a huge reduction in the land dedicated to wildlife as pressure would grow on politicians to use the land for something else. And this isn’t just theory; it’s happened in practice. Kenya banned trophy hunting in the 1970s. Since then an estimated 75% of their wildlife populations have been lost.