Trophy hunters are slaughtering an animal every three minutes – with UK marksmen among the world’s most prolific killers, the Daily Mail can reveal.
British hunters have won prizes for shooting more than a hundred different species, including endangered ones such as lions and polar bears, says a report by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on banning trophy hunting.
The exhaustive six-month inquiry – the findings of which will be published today – has found that firms founded in the UK are selling trophy-hunting holidays for tens of thousands of pounds. Among them are ‘canned’ lion hunts, where the animals are bred in captivity and shot in enclosures.
Pro-hunting activists claim the activity helps conservation in Africa, but British hunters have boasted of shooting monkeys and cats in trees for ‘fun’ and the majority of animals die slow, painful deaths, the report says.
Tory MP Sir Roger Gale, the APPG’s chairman, said the findings ‘kick the bottom’ out of hunters’ claims that they are conserving wildlife and shows that their motivation is ‘self-gratification of the most revolting kind’.
The industry is entrenching apartheid-era inequalities as some hunting company owners make millions of pounds a year but locals hired as cooks, cleaners or skinners earn just a few hundred, the APPG also says.
It comes after a private member’s bill that aims to ban the import of hunting trophies into Britain was finally presented to Parliament earlier this month.
If it becomes law, the bill – tabled by Tory MP Henry Smith – would stop hunters bringing animal skins, severed heads and carcasses back to the UK after shoots abroad. The Government has spent years promising a ban, but failed to offer a timetable.
But British trophy hunters have defended their involvement, saying it pours money back into the economy of the countries where they hunt. For the Scottish MacLeod clan, it is a family affair, with father Kenny Snr and his three sons having shot at least 22 different species between them.
Kenny Snr, who runs housing firm MacLeod Construction, is the most prolific of the group, with 18 confirmed kills, including warthog and wildebeest.
His son Greig, who has posed next to his kill of a zebra, worked for the company for 14 years before leaving to set up his own in 2020.
Kenny Jr told the Mail that hunting was ‘a way of life’ in Africa and compared it to deer hunting in the UK. He added: ‘The companies employed a ton of local people, workers and all the meat of the animals was getting eaten and shared at night.
‘It isn’t a cheap thing to do either, so all that money is going to go back into their economy.’
Animal rights campaigners have condemned the practice, describing one hunter – Ryan Seaman or ‘Bullseye’ as he refers to himself – as ‘the sickest man in Britain’.
Mr Seaman openly boasts of his kills and shares gruesome pictures of their carcasses on Facebook. In one picture, he smiles next to a bloodied baboon while clasping the scruff of its head to hold it upright, making it appear chillingly human. Other animals he has killed include a kudu antelope, a warthog and blue wildebeest.
In one post, Mr Seaman, from Bristol, kneels next to 57 dead foxes and rabbits, which he claims to have shot in one night and brags that it will provide ‘loads of moleskin shirts’.
Among those urging MPs to support the bill and ban trophy hunters’ imports are explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who called on them to ‘help put an end to this sick bloodsport’.
This article by Miles Dilworth and Joe Hutchison was first published by The Mail Online on 29 June 2022. Lead Image: Posing with his kill: Kenny MacLeod Snr, who runs a construction firm, next to a slain kudu antelope.
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