Govt Takes Trophy Ban Fight To Europe 

  • Mthimkhulu delegation to meet UK, French, German lawmakers
  • Some UK legislators not in support of the Bill to banish trophies


President Mokgweetsi Masisi this week despatched a high level delegation to Europe as Botswana sought to go on the offensive in the battle over banning importation of trophies into European countries.

Led by the Minister of Tourism Dumezweni Mthimkhulu and Kgosi Tawana Moremi of BaTawana, the delegation has the United Kingdom, France and Germany on its working tour of Europe.

It is expected to hold several high consultative meetings with European leaders. “The purpose of this trip is to present our story as a country,” Mthimkhulu told this publication. “We have done very well as a country on issues of conservation.”


According to information reaching The Botswana Gazette, the European Union (EU) is pushing for its member states to ban hunting trophies. A second reading of the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill is expected to reach the British Parliament on Friday.

Although this publication understands that the Bill is likely to be passed, British MPs are said to be divided on the matter.

“In October, 68 of us wrote to our Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak) not to introduce the Bill,” Lord Benjamin Mancroft, who is a Tory MP and Member of the House of Lords, told journalists from Botswana in London this week.

‘Playing politics’

“As far as we are aware, the government is not supporting the Bill. It is a Private Members Bill. I do not know what could have motivated the Bill, but we suspect that he (the sponsors of the Bill) could be playing politics.”

The Bill was supported by John Speller who is an MP of the Labour Party.

Lord Mancroft used strong language in reference to the Bill, saying it is “disgraceful and racist” of the British government to dictate to African countries on issues of conservation.

“Most of these people do not understand the impact of the Bill,” he said. “It is very complex. The Bill is about animal rights, not conservation. Animals do not have rights because they do not have responsibilities. It is humans that have the responsibility to take care of the wildlife.”


Meanwhile, The Botswana Gazette is informed that other Southern African countries, among them South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, are also lobbying British MPs against the Bill or to at least modify it with suitable amendments.

The controversial Bill is expected to include an exemption of countries that have demonstrated a clear conservation case.

France and Germany are said to be considering imposing a similar ban on trophies before the end of this year. Botswana’s argument is that a ban would impact heavily on the livelihoods of communities that depend on proceeds from trophy hunting.