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Trophy hunting ’thriving’ during pandemic as Brits pay thousands to kill animals

Trophy hunting is thriving despite coronavirus shutting down much of the world, campaigners have claimed.

Huge parts of the world have implemented strict lockdown measures to control the pandemic but that is not stopping bloodthirsty animal killers spending huge sums of money to slaughtered endangered species.

Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, says he believes Brits are among those jetting off to satisfy their urges.

He said: "Trophy hunting is thriving despite lockdown.

"You can visit BookYourHunt.com and choose whichever species you want to hunt, then cross-reference it geographically.

"Whether it's a leopard, lion, elephant, seals or even a reindeer. I'm sure there are many British trophy hunters doing this despite the restrictions.

"As an example, you can book to hunt a Bukharan markhor, which is an endangered goat-antelope, in the mountains of Tajikistan for £110,000.

"You might have thought the pandemic would be giving these majestic animals a bit of respite but companies are still raking in huge sums of money for their hunting trips."

Trophy hunting imports into the UK are set to be banned, although the legislation has been slowed down by the pandemic and Brexit.

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Some 2,500 trophies from protected species have been imported into the country since 2010, including elephant ears and hippo teeth.

Mr Goncalves has written multiple books about trophy hunting, with his most recent, Trophy Leaks: Top Hunters & Industry Secrets Revealed, detailed the most prolific hunters.

While the pandemic has stopped the flow of some trophy hunters on expensive foreign trips, others have been looking to satisfy their bloodthirsty urges closer to home.

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He said: "During lockdown, ranches in Texas have been very popular with Americans.

"Americans make up a large proportion of trophy hunters. Those who would normally travel to Africa, are now getting their kicks closer to home if they have been trapped in the US.

"Companies involved in trophy hunting say that the fees they charge actually help with the conservation of their countries because some of it goes back to the government.

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"But we all know that is not their motivation."

Mr Goncalves thinks the continued strength of trophy hunting even during the pandemic is proof that the ban on import needs to be pushed through sooner rather than later.

He explains: "All forms of animal cruelty, persecution and murder are unjustifiable. But this is the most senseless and vile form of animal exploitation of all.

"It is people killing animals literally just to amuse themselves.

"There are a lot of wealthy people involved in the trophy hunting business, including Brits. There's a lot of money sloshing around, I'm sure I'm not on their Christmas card list.

"They want the freedom to hunt wherever and whenever they want – we can't allow it."

A spokesman for BookYourHunt said: "Bookyourhunt.com brings together local hunting organizers with traveling hunters from all over the world.

"It is up to every traveler to take the necessary precautions and follow national and international rules concerning COVID-19. Laws and recommendations are different in every country. We cannot and will not interfere with that, but try to provide up to date information on the latest travel restrictions and recommendations and advise all travelers to follow these protocols.

"However, it is essential to us to represent our partners – the hunting outfitters – as well as possible. In these times more than ever.

"Of course, our partners worldwide are struggling just as much as any other tourism-related businesses during this pandemic.

"However, they are still managing and protecting huge areas of habitat with an abundance of species entirely dependent on hunting tourism. They need all the clients we can help them find.”

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