A motion wants to prohibit people who spend a lot of money from slaughtering protected animals in Africa and bringing their trophies back to Switzerland. An association for the protection of animals opposes it.
In March 2019, Isabelle Chevalley (PVL/VD), then National Councillor, tabled a motion “for a ban on the import and transit of hunting trophies from animals falling under the Convention on International Trade in species of wild fauna and flora threatened with extinction (CITES).’ The National Council adopted the motion in May 2021. On May 30, the motion will be submitted to the Council of States recalls the “Sonntags Zeitung”. However, there is little chance that he will also approve it. The Commission for Science, Education and Culture of the Council of States recommends the rejection of the motion. In her argument, she refers precisely to an organization for the protection of the environment and animals, the WWF. The latter is indeed actively lobbying against the requested ban. In a May 18 letter, WWF Switzerland “urges state councilors to reject the motion” because trophy hunting serves to protect species.
The subject divides animal protectors
Among the arguments of the WWF we find this: “The income that comes from these hunts is very important for the local population in remote rural areas. If they lose these cash inflows, poaching will increase in order to compensate for the loss of income and reduce the damage in agriculture.”
It should be noted that more than fifty Swiss animal welfare organizations disagree and support the motion.
The Swiss are also big game hunters. For the period from 2010 to 2020, the Swiss CITES agency recorded the import of 45 elephants, 22 Nile crocodiles and many other partly protected animals. In total, this represents 462 animals. With regard to trophies, the number is greater since for an animal, several parts are counted each time as a trophy. It should also be noted that, in addition to the money paid for shooting, the hunter must also pay taxes to have these objects at home in Switzerland.
The Washington Convention on the Protection of Species (CITES) has been in force since 1975. But while the trade in ivory is prohibited, the person who killed an elephant with their own hands can legally take their trophies home. The fact remains that trophy hunting is a business of billions, because the rule is simple: the rarer the species, the larger the horns, mane or tusks, the more the animal is coveted and the higher its price. The CITES database shows that between 2004 and 2014, 1.7 million animals were killed, of which 200,000 were endangered species.