Liverpool council accused of confusing shooting lions with shooting pheasants after hunting show banned

Helena Horton
Cecil the lion's death caused many to begin a campaign against trophy hunting

A local council has been accused of confusing pheasant-shooting with lion hunting by pressuring the venue of Crufts to cancel a shooting show.

The Great British Shooting Show was due to be held in Liverpool next year but has now been cancelled after a widespread campaign and an intervention from the council and a petition with more than 110,000 signatures.

Liverpool's councillors, MPs and the Mayor were contacted about the event by Eduardo Goncalves, who runs the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting. The Mayor and council then released a statement condemning all hunting.

A council spokesperson said in a statement: "“This Council declares its complete opposition to any form of hunting live animals with hounds or shooting live game, in the UK or overseas. We note that this is barbaric in all cases, and in many cases also threatens species that are already precarious."

One of the companies listed to exhibit in Liverpool was Engelbrecht Safaris, which allows hunters to kill leopards, elephants and giraffes in Africa. 

However, many of the exhibitors at the show were companies representing British hunters who shoot small game in the UK such as pheasants and grouse.

Garry Doolan, a spokesman for the British Association of Shooting and Conservation said: “Joe Anderson and some members of the council appear to have mixed up trophy hunting in Africa with shooting pheasants in places like Altcar.

“The mayor and the council, with this motion, have shown a complete disregard for the reality of the British countryside. It’s a beautiful, precious environment but it isn’t like that by accident. The land and the wildlife in it has to be carefully, thoughtfully managed and the shooting community is rightly recognised for its positive work in helping to manage those landscapes.

“To state that shooting game in the UK is ‘barbaric in all cases and threatens species that are already precarious’ is a woeful misrepresentation of the reality of ethical, sustainable shooting.

“The motion is an attack and slur on the British shooting community that is both unfair and unwarranted."

A spokesperson for the Liverpool Exhibition Centre said: ""Although it was never the case that the abhorrent practice of ‘trophy hunting’ would be promoted, we have taken on board feedback about the theme of the event, and terminated our negotiations with the Great British Shooting Show."