‘What do you get from gazing at a stuffed lion's head you shot?’: Tom Swarbrick quizzes trophy hunting fanatic

13 March 2023, 19:03

Big-game hunter brands the anti-hunting bill 'outrageous'

By Anna Fox

An angered caller tells Tom he might as well “hunt brussels sprout” if the anti-hunting bill is implemented, preventing the importation of endangered animals killed abroad.

Outlining his passion for trophy hunting, caller Toby tells Tom Swarbrick, “you’re trying to stop me from bringing things back, what's the point in going?”

A private members bill by Conservative MP Henry Smith, which bans the importation of body parts of endangered animals killed abroad will be debated for the final time this week.

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On March 17 the government bill, called Sally’s Law in honour of a tiger cub who was rescued from being slaughtered, will be voted on.

If passed, it will become the toughest hunting legislation implemented by any government in the world.

Current legislation allows trophy hunters to bring dead animals home to Britain for taxidermy and trophy purposes.

Caller Toby, who has participated in shooting large game in Africa, killing “lions, giraffes and zebras” was outraged when hearing the proposed bill telling Tom, “it's absolutely ridiculous”.

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Boasting about his "shooting wall”, where he displays his taxidermy, Toby explained to Tom, “once I've done it, what am I going to do, leave the head?”

Querying the trophy hunter's frustration at the legislation, Tom said: “When you gaze up at the stuffed head of the lion you shot, what do you get from it?”

Justifying his decision, Toby said: “Well it's a memory isn't it, the memory of pitting yourself against an animal and winning”.

Spanning over the past four decades, British hunters have brought home approximately 5,000 trophies of animals classified as endangered by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

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Infuriated by Tom’s opposition, Toby accused the presenter of adopting a “vegan attitude” exclaiming “what else am I going to do, start hunting brussels sprouts?”

The government previously proposed a ban on the importing of hunting trophies in December 2021, following a consultation. This was anticipated as part of an Animals Abroad Bill which has not been presented to Parliament.