MEP aiming to ban hunting trophies after lion skin auction attempt in town

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A POLITICIAN is trying to get the import of hunting trophies banned weeks after the UK Independence Party tried to auction a lion skin during its Eastbourne conference.

Euro MP Sharon Bowles, whose area includes Eastbourne and the surrounding towns, has teamed up with conservation charity LionAid to lobby Brussels for the ban.

Research has been difficult as data-gathering of lion populations in countries such as Tanzania and Mozambique is woefully inadequate.

However, according to LionAid there are currently just 25,000 lions left in Africa (of which only 2,500 are adult males) and only 411 Asiatic lions left in India.

Last month UKIP upset locals by offering a lion skin for sale at a fundraiser – but the trophy failed to sell.

Nevertheless, Ms Bowles wants to stop other similar items from reaching UK shores.

She said, “Having met with LionAid and discussed the issues at length, I will be calling on the European Commission to consider banning the import of lion trophies into the EU.”