Proposed Ban on Imports of Hunting Trophies into European Union
NGO Coalition for Animal Welfare

Letter to EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries proposing further ban on importing hunting trophies

19th February 2024

To: Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries:
Cc: Maroš Šefčovič, EVP European Green Deal:
Valdis Dombrovskis, EVP and EU Trade Commissioner:
Peter van Kemseke, von der Leyen Cabinet:
Elisabeth Werner, Deputy Secretary General:
Raúl Fuentes Milani, COREPER I Ambassador, Spain:
Pierre Cartuyvels, COREPER I Ambassador, Belgium:
Katalin Molnár, COREPER I Ambassador, Hungary:
Arkadiusz Pluciński, COREPER I Ambassador, Poland:

Dear Commissioner,
We, the undersigned coalition of NGOs, dedicated to the advancement of animal welfare and
the protection of wildlife and biodiversity across the globe, write to inform you that on Thursday
25th January 2024, the Belgian Federal Parliament voted unanimously on a legislative
proposal to ban the import of hunting trophies of endangered species into Belgium. The
legislation will end the import of hunting trophies from many species currently at risk of
extinction, including all species listed in Annex A1 of EU Regulation 338/97 on the protection of
species of wild fauna and flora, along with certain species in Annex B2 of the same regulation
that are also listed in Annex XIII to Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 regulating the trade of
protected wild flora and fauna.

The European Green Deal – rightly – positions the EU as the protector of international
biodiversity. We therefore call on the Commission to propose a legislative measure to ban
trophy hunting imports into the European Union. In 2022, the European Parliament adopted
a Resolution calling on the Commission and the Member States to take immediate effective
action to ban the import of hunting trophies derived from CITES listed species.3
In its updated Action Plan against wildlife trafficking, the EU also recognises the need to apply increased
scrutiny to the import of hunting trophies. With an increasing number of Member States
introducing legislation to restrict trophy hunting imports, an EU measure is necessary to
prevent further fragmentation of the single market. We also believe it is a necessary step to
ensure that our shared commitment to the protection of global biodiversity, where animals can
thrive and flourish, becomes a reality.

You will be aware that Belgium is not the only Member State regulating this issue:
● In May 2016, the Netherlands instituted a ban4 on the import of hunting trophies for
more than 200 endangered species.
● In France, a similar cross-party legislative proposal5 which expands the 2015 ban on lion
trophy imports, is currently being discussed by MPs. The bill is working its way through
the legislative process and was adopted by the National Assembly’s Sustainable
Development Committee in January 2024.
● The import of hunting trophies into Finland6 was restricted in June 2023.
● In Germany, the current Minister for the Environment, Steffi Lemke, announced the
government’s intention to restrict the import of hunting trophies from protected animal
● In Italy, bills aimed at banning the import, export and re-export to and from Italy of
hunting trophies obtained from CITES-protected species were presented to the Chamber
of Deputies in 2022 and the Senate in 2023.

Yours sincerely,
Will Travers OBE, Co-founder and Executive President, Born Free Foundation, UK
Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals, Europe
Ruud Tombrock, Executive Director, Humane Society International/Europe, Europe
Kelly O’Meara, Executive Director, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, USA
Andrea Höppner, Chair, Pro Wildlife, Germany
Simon Couel, President, ADOCMU, France
Lenin Tinashe Chisaira, Director, Advocates4Earth, Zimbabwe
Arend de Haas, Conservation Director, African Conservation Foundation, UK
Gabriel Paun, CEO, Agent Green, Romania
Dr. Cynthia Moss, Program Director and Trustee, Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Kenya
Fred B. Bercovitch, PhD, Board of Directors, Conservation Scientist, Anne Innis Dagg
Foundation, Canada
Janet Thomas, Founder and CEO, Animal Aid Abroad, Australia
Liz White, Executive Director, Animal Alliance of Canada, Canada
Benoît Thomé, President, Animal Cross, France
Stéphane Lamart, President Fondateur, Association Stéphane Lamart, France
Christophe Coret, President, AVES France, France
Ralph Chami, Co-Founder, Blue Green Future and Rebalance Earth, Visiting Professor Williams
College, USA
Kartsen Plücker, Chair, Bund gegen Missbrauch der Tiere e. V., Germany
Julie Lasne, Representative (France), Campaign Against Canned Hunting, and President,
EyesWildOpen, France
Eduardo Goncalves, Founder, Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, and Saving Sally, UK
Drew Abrahamson, Founder and Director, Captured in Africa Foundation, South Africa
Ericka Ceballos, CEO and Founder, CATCA Environmental and Wildlife Society (CEWS),
Kathryn Gwiazdon, Executive Director, Center for Environmental Ethics and Law, USA, and
Chair, Ethics Specialist Group, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law
Farai Maguwu, Director, Center for Natural Resource Governance, Zimbabwe
Collins Busuru, Chief Executive Officer, CHD Conservation Kenya, Kenya
Alexandra Morette, President, Code animal, France
Sophie Maffre-Baugé, President, COLBAC, France
Alexander Heyd, Executive Director, Committee Against Bird Slaughter, Germany
Gérard Charollois, Magistrat, Convention Vie et Nature, France
Melvin Josse, Director, Convergence Animaux Politique (CAP), France
Didier Bonnet, President, CRAC Europe, France
Georgina Lamb, CEO, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, UK
Christina Patt, Board member, Deutsche Juristische Gesellschaft für Tierschutzrecht e. V.,
Florian Schöne, Executive Director, Deutscher Naturrschutzring (DNR) e. V., Germany
Dr. Esther Müller, Director of Animal Welfare Academy/CEO of Science Deutscher
Tierschutzbund e. V., Germany
Ian Redmond OBE, Head of Conservation, Ecoflix
Marie-Laure Laprade, President, Education Ethique Animale, France
Friederike Kremer-Obrock, Chair, ElasmOcean e.V., Germany
Petter K. Granli, CEO and Dr. Joyce H. Poole, Scientific Director, ElephantVoices, USA
Michele Pickover, Executive Director, EMS Foundation, South Africa
Adam Cruise, Director, Endangered Wildlife Investigations, South Africa
Prof. Dr. Cristiane Derani, Deputy Chair, Ethics Specialist Group, IUCN World Commission on
Environmental Law
Christophe Marie, Directeur adjoint, Fondation Brigitte Bardot, France
Vera Weber, President, Fondation Franz Weber, Switzerland
Radosław Michalski, President, Fundacja Dziedzictwo Przyrodnicze, Poland
Heike Henderson-Altenstein, Member of the Board, Future for Elephants e.V., Germany
Susanne Hufmann, Chair, Gesellschaft für Naturschutz und Auenentwicklung (GNA) e. V., and
Chair GNA-Stiftung Mensch und Natur, Germany
Klaus Heyser, Chair, Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delphine e. V., Germany
Hale Anderson, Vice President, Global March for Elephant and Rhinos, USA
Anna Spurek, Chief Operating Officer, Green REV Institute, Poland
Stephen A Wiggins, Founder, International Wildlife Bond, UK
Galitt Kenan, Executive Director, Jane Goodall Institute France, France
Masayuki Sakamoto, Executive Director, Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund, Japan
Brigitte Gothière, Directrice, L214 Éthique & Animaux, France
Louis Schweitzer, President, La Fondation Droit Animal, Ethique et Sciences (LFDA), France
Guillaume Sanchez, CEO, La Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA), France
Yvette Taylor, Director, Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization, South Africa
Isabelle Vieira, President, Le chien mon ami, France
Christina Ledermann, Chair, Menschen für Tierrechte, Germany
Timothy Kamuzu Phiri, Executive Director, Mizu Eco-Care, Zambia
Sarah Carr, CEO, Naturewatch Foundation, UK
Fabienne McLellan, Executive Director, OceanCare, Switzerland
Virgile Delatre, Directeur, One Voice, France
Patricia Awori, Kenya, Pan African Wildlife Conservation Network, Kenya
Dr. Barbara Maas, Founder and Chief Executive, People for Nature and Peace, UK
Harald Ullmann, Director, PETA Germany, Germany
Carl Thornton, Founder and Director, Pit-Track K9 Conservation and Anti-Poaching Unit, South
Sandra Guyomard, President, Réseau-Cétacés, France
Thomas Töpfer, Chair, Rettet die Elefanten Afrikas e. V., Germany
Nicholas Duncan, President, Save the Rhino Foundation, Australia
Lamya Essemlali, Co-founder and President, Sea Shepherd France, France
Laure Ieltsch, President, Société Nationale pour la Défense des Animaux (SNDA), France
Dr. iur. Gieri Bollinger, Executive Director, Stiftung für das Tier im Recht, Switzerland
Dr. Madeleine Petrovic, President, Tierschutz Austria, Austria
Yannick Ndoinyo, Executive Director, Traditional Ecosystems Survival Tanzania, Tanzania
DDr. Martin Balluch, Chairman, Verein gegen Tierfabriken, Austria
Dr. Eberhard Schneider, President, Vogelschutz-Komitee Naturstiftung, Germany
Sarah Dyer & Linda Park, Directors, Voice4lions, South Africa
Carl Sonnthal, CEO, IG Wild beim Wild, Switzerland
Leif Cocks, Founder, Wildlife Conservation International (The Orangutan Project/International
Elephant Project/International Tiger Project/Forests for People)
Lovis Kauertz, Chair, Wildtierschutz Deutschland e. V., Germany
Noma Dube, Founder, Zimbabwe Elephant Foundation, Zimbabwe

3 Resolution
2023/C 132/05, paragraph 39. Urges the Commission and the Member States to take immediate effective
action in the framework of its commitments outlined in the EU biodiversity strategy to ban the import of
hunting trophies derived from CITES-listed species                                                                                                                                                                    4