I had three wonderful events on my birthday yesterday!
Firstly, I am very proud and pleased to announce that I have been made President of Protecting African Lions Foundation (PAL)
This is an extreme passion of mine and I know with the entire team all coming together we will make a difference, we will prevail and we will protect our lions.
The second great thing to happen yesterday was that my McCreedyMandela limited edition print arrived. It now sits pride of place in my lounge. You really should get one, they are fantastic and support a wonderful cause.
Last but not least, I am really pleased with the response I had from my MEP Keith Taylor. It reads as so;
“Keith, and his Green colleague Jean Lambert MEP, have submitted a Written Question to the European Commission, asking them to consider revising the current EU laws on the import of hunting trophies. This is particularly relevant in light of the European Parliament’s resolution on wildlife crime, which was adopted in January. Keith and Jean asked:
‘Canned hunting’ is the practice of shooting captive-bred lions in enclosed spaces for sport. Parts of lion carcasses are then retained as ‘trophies’ and, in many cases, brought back to EU Member States by their owners.
Would the Commission consider introducing legislation to ban the import of such ‘trophies’ into the European Union? Such a ban would create a disincentive for the continuation of this abhorrent practice and is consistent with European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2014 on wildlife crime (2013/2747(RSP)), which called for a possible revision of the EU’s legal provisions governing the import of hunting trophies into Member States.
The Commission has six weeks to respond to the above question – the full question and response will be posted at the following link, under ‘Parliamentary Questions’, in due course:http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/102931/KEITH_TAYLOR_activities.html
You may be interested to know that Keith, ABTA and Born Free launched a new initiative in the European Parliament last year to protect animals used in tourism, in the form of new Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism guidelines. These guidelines were developed specifically to fight against cruel practices in tourism, such as canned hunting. You can read more about this initiative here: http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/2013/06/18/new-tourism-standards-to-protect-animals-across-the-world/
Keith has commented :
“People are sick of seeing animals treated badly. It´s gratuitous to cause unnecessary suffering and upsetting, especially to children.
These new guidelines, supported by the travel industry and NGOs alike, could make a huge difference to the lives of animals across the world. There’s no excuse for animal cruelty to play any part in anyone’s holiday.”
Keith is deeply committed to protecting the rights of animals and promoting higher standards of animal welfare across the EU, and has made this a top priority in his work as an MEP. He is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals.
Animal welfare can be a difficult area to work on at EU level as, apart from farm animals and movement of animals between Member States, most animal welfare related issues fall under nation state competency, meaning that the EU has limited influence. This means that whilst laboratory animals or farm animals are subject to EU minimum welfare standards, stray animals, companion animals, animals in circuses or animals used in ‘sport’ are not.
Keith and the Greens are pledging to campaign for a stronger and more wide-reaching EU animal welfare framework law, which would cover all categories of animal that are subject to some form of human control, including companion animals, exotic pets, farmed animals and captive wild animals. This is something that the European Commission has been considering, and the RSPCA are also currently running a campaign to put pressure on the Commission for the adoption of the new law. Lots more information about it is available on their website: http://www.politicalanimal.org.uk/area/eu/european-elections-2014
Thank you again for taking the time to write to Keith on this important issue and please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have any further questions.”
I am very pleased with this development and hope you will follow the links above to stay in touch with the situation and follow its progress.
Have you seen my photo series “I shoot animals with a camera not a rifle”? All on twitter @stevetravisuk.
More to follow soon, thanks for all your support.