Additional hunting trophies added to the import prohibition list

With immediate effect, hunting trophies of a large number of species may no longer be imported into the Netherlands. These include trophies of white rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, lions, hippos and polar bears. Previously, import permits for a number of animals had been refused. That list has now been extended. The Minister for Agriculture, Martijn van Dam, informed the House of Representatives that, in total, import permits for more than 200 species will no longer be issued in the Netherlands.

Minister Van Dam commented that “I take great exception to people shooting protected animals to display them as hunting trophies. I have, therefore, decided that import permits for hunting trophies will no longer be issued for a large number of species. I also want to establish a general import ban on hunting trophies of these species within Europe.”

International trade

At international level, agreements (CITES) have been reached to regulate the global trade in approximately 5,000 endangered animal species and 30,000 species of protected plants. These protected species may not be freely traded, transported, collected or kept. These activities are subject to rules. Trade in some species is completely prohibited, while permits or certificates are needed in other cases. A total of 182 countries have already signed the convention. The Netherlands has extended the list of animals for which import permits as hunting trophies will no longer be issued. The Minister hopes that more countries in Europe will follow the Netherlands’ example.

In the period from 2012 to 2015, a total of 27 applications to import hunting trophies were made in the Netherlands. A single application can involve more than one trophy. The applications involved trophies of lions, bears, elephants, leopards, several species of antelope, several species of monkey, wolves, lynx, and other felines. In all, 17 of these applications were rejected.