Written question – Import of elephant hunting trophies – E-002102/2018

Catherine Bearder sent a letter to President Trump, co-signed by myself and many colleagues, calling for the lifting of the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe to be reversed.

However, after the US, the EU is the biggest importer of hunting trophies of endangered species, according to the CITES Trade database.

Regulations (EC) No 338/97 and (EC) No 865/2006 laid down an EU trade framework for the species listed in the annexes and set up the Scientific Review Group (SRG), chaired by the Commission. It examines whether imports comply with requirements ‘to ensure specimens were obtained legally, the import is not detrimental to the conservation of the species concerned’ and, for species such as rhino, elephant and lions, that imports will contribute to ‘significant and tangible conservation benefits’.

Since 2015, the SRG has issued a positive opinion for the import of elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe to the EU.

As elephants are an endangered species and trophy hunting is contributing to their catastrophic decline:

Can the Commission explain the grounds on which this positive opinion was given?

Does the Commission agree that the import of elephant hunting trophies should be banned?

Does the Commission agree that transparency and scrutiny of how the SRG takes its decisions, is necessary?