Fury as it is revealed that the ban on trophy hunting imports will not apply in Northern Ireland

Fury, as it was revealed that a trophy hunting import ban passed by MPs will not apply in Northern Ireland, allowing Ulster to become a “back door” into Britain.

  • DUP MP took offense that Northern Ireland is exempt despite 86 per cent of people supporting a UK-wide ban.
  • The loophole means big game hunters could fly to Belfast with body parts before crossing the Irish Sea.

Yesterday, MPs passed a bill to ban imports of hunting trophies, but the move quickly became a sham when it emerged that the rules would not apply to Northern Ireland.

Experts have warned that the plans will actually have a disastrous impact on endangered animals.

And now DUP MPs have claimed the bill is drastically undermined by the fact that Ulster would become a “back door” for big game hunters to bring souvenirs back to Britain.

It means they could fly to Belfast with a bunch of body parts before just crossing the Irish Sea. The loophole is possible because Northern Ireland fell behind in the European Union’s single market after Brexit.

The Hunting Trophy (Import Ban) Bill was introduced by Conservative MP Henry Smith. During a debate, DUP MP Sammy Wilson said: “To find that a law that has the support of more than 86 per cent of the UK population cannot apply in one part of the UK is offensive.”

Pictured: Cecil, one of Zimbabwe’s most famous lions, who was reportedly shot dead by American hunter Walter Palmer. DUP MPs have claimed the bill is drastically undermined by the fact that Ulster would become a “back door” for big game hunters to bring souvenirs back to Britain.

“It is offensive to me and it is offensive to millions of voters who have written to me asking me to support this legislation.” Wildlife protection experts fear the bill will have a disastrous impact on endangered animals.

They, along with African leaders and grassroots groups, have called on Britain to allow the importation of certain trophies if the animals are proven to have been ethically hunted.

Revenue from targeted hunting keeps locals in their jobs and funds patrols against poachers, the real enemy of conservation. The plans would ban the import of 6,000 endangered species, including elephants, rhinos and leopards.

Environment Minister Trudy Harrison praised the legislation, which will now be considered in the House of Lords. “Cecil the lion did not die in vain,” she said, referring to the lion who was shot by an American dentist in Zimbabwe in 2015 in a case that sparked global outrage.

The Hunting Trophy (Import Ban) Bill was tabled by Conservative MP Henry Smith

The Hunting Trophy (Import Ban) Bill was tabled by Conservative MP Henry Smith

But fellow Conservative Lord Mancroft said: “It is clear that this bill evaded any meaningful scientific scrutiny or expert challenge as it rushed through the Commons.” We are determined that this will not be the case in the House of Lords.

Professor Amy Dickman, a conservation expert at Oxford University, said: “It is bitterly disappointing that MPs have succumbed to an emotional but misinformed campaign for animal rights.” This bill will kill more animals than it will save.’

Maxi Pia Louis, director of the conservation body Nacso, said: “We are immensely disappointed that the voice of Africa has not been heard. This bill will impoverish African communities for many years to come.’

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said “imports into Northern Ireland will continue to be carefully screened.”

.