The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed Environment Minister Rory Stewart’s statement that the Government will ban the import of hunting trophies within 2 years if “very significant” improvements to protect lions are not put in place by the industry and local governments.

Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “It is high time the UK government, and others across the world, finally take action and impose a total ban on all hunting trophies including lions.

“Trophy hunting is cruel, and done simply for human gratification. But without the ability to import their trophies the hunters will have much less of an incentive to kill.

“We hope that something positive can come out of Cecil the lion’s killing, where trophy hunting no longer takes place anywhere in the world.”

Earlier this year the League joined forces with other animal welfare organisations to demand that the European Parliament ban trophy hunting imports. Trophies from these hunts are imported into the EU at a significant rate. In the 10 years leading up to 2015 over 1,000 lion trophies were brought into Spain alone.

Following on from the high profile killing of Cecil the lion, a number of countries took action – this included the implementation of the CECIL (Animal Trophies) Act in the USA. However, to date, little has changed in Europe