Damian Aspnall:

“As a conservationist, and as someone directly involved in working to save persecuted species, I can say from first-hand experience that hunting for ‘sport’ is putting tremendous pressure on our wildlife. Trophy hunting is simply inexplicable and inexcusable, and those who practice it need to take a long, hard look at themselves and what they’re doing. Frankly, they are absolutely despicable in my view. Elephants have been with us for millions of years. Are we really going to allow them to disappear within the blink of an eye just because a handful of people take pleasure from killing them?”

Joanna Lumley:

“I have always considered trophy hunting the lowest of the low: contemptible, hollow triumphalism which we would laugh to scorn if the consequences weren’t so utterly grim and cruel. Weasel words and twisted evidence will try to show the benefits of this hateful past-time; but the truth is as plain as can be: killing animals for fun is just disgusting. Our voices are urging President Masisi  to reject the proposal to lift the ban on trophy hunting, for the sake of the elephants in his beautiful country and for the reputation of humans everywhere.”

Ricky Gervais:

“If trophy hunting elephants in Botswana is made legal again, we might as well say goodbye to them now. It will be the end for African elephants and all because some rich psychopath enjoys murdering a magnificent animal.”

Sir Ranulph Fiennes:

“I was livid when I heard about this! Trophy hunting is just vanity and stupidity. It’s a ‘sport’ for morons, cowards and bullies.

The people who take part should all be in jail. They’re committing crimes against the planet. How dare they think they can kill off our wildlife just to entertain themselves!

Our children will despise us if we let elephants die out. We should hang our heads in shame at what’s going on.  

People who kill elephants for fun need to be stopped! We need a global ban, and tough jail terms for all trophy hunting and poaching.”

Bill Oddie OBE:

“Killing Elephants is despicable, protecting them is noble. We must not harm one of the most magnificent creatures on our planet. Trophy hunting is not brave, protecting elephants is.

I’m just incredulous that anyone would even think this is a good idea.

Some of the world’s most extraordinary wildlife has been decimated by persecution and habitat loss. Elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs and rhinos are all fighting for their lives. We could see all of them go extinct within a generation.

Letting people kill them because they think it’s entertaining is just insane, especially when you’re talking about wildlife with such a vulnerable status. Trophy hunting has always been senseless cruelty. But with the continuing decline in elephant numbers and range, it’s also sheer recklessness and stupidity.

Elephants are fast approaching a pre-extinction phase. They’ve disappeared from much of Africa. You’ve got small isolated groups separated from one another. That means the species as a whole is more prone to disease, more prone to the growing effects of climate change and so on. Trophy hunting in the one place, Botswana, where they are relatively thriving could spell disaster.

Trophy hunters like to go for the elephants with the biggest tusks; the bigger the tusks, the stronger and healthier the elephant. If a population loses a strong healthy individual, that can have a catastrophic impact not just on that population – it can go on to affect the wider gene pool of the species.

When you’ve got a scattered, dwindling population, the loss of just a handful of animals doesn’t just cause a ripple effect – it can be like a tsunami wave.

Botswana is the last hope for the African elephant. If we lose them here, the whole battle could be lost.

I implore President Masisi to think again. The key to the survival of the African elephant is literally in his hands. Please don’t throw it away, Mr Masisi.”

Carol Royle:

“There are many strands to why Trophy hunting should be banned.  One is that the hunted creatures are rapidly in decline, and there are many reasons for this, hunting and poaching being two of the main ones.

It is a fallacy propagated by advocates of trophy and canned hunting that they are acting altruistically for conservation and indigenous communities, when the truth is, that the majority of fees go to line the pockets of governments and the local capitalists involved., and the continued poverty of the inhabitants is mainly due to Government corruption.

Growing human populations produce the need for further land for cattle to graze, diminishing the habitat for wildlife.

We, as a species, are so fond of control that we have never thought to stop, and see that animal populations control themselves based on availability of habitat.

We believe that every single species on earth is there solely for our use and our exploitation.

What we should be doing is saving them from extinction, nurturing them and making life easier for them, which would instantly instil a greater empathy in us for our own species, and a deeper consideration for our planet. Only when we come to our senses and see that we should respect all life instead of ‘using’ it, will we be ale to abandon the fabrication that we kill for some greater good, which we somehow believe ‘excuses’ us from all the atrocities we perform.

If we were all to believe in the basic sanctity of the life of all creatures, it would become abhorrent to us to even consider taking their innocent lives from them, causing pain and suffering to sentient creatures, let alone taking their lives out of some sort of perverted pursuit of enjoyment.

No other animal on earth behaves as irrationally, irresponsibly, greedily and cruelly as us; we, above all, should have the capacity to know, and to do, better.  

We fall way short of what we are capable of realizing”.

Sir Ed Davey MP:

“The case for legal hunting of elephants ranges from weak to immoral. Legal hunting can often act as a cover for illegal hunting, endangering the species – and the idea that tourist money trickles down to support local people who then prevent poaching simply isn’t proven. We need the ban – and we need to resource its enforcement, urgently.”

Chris Williamson MP:

“The appalling, indiscriminate killing of elephants for their tusks is barbaric. There has been a spate of killings in Botswana, a previous safe haven for these beautiful creatures. That’s why I am calling on the Botswana Government to take action to address the slaughter of these animals without delay”.

Chris Packham:

“Trophy hunting has had its ugly day in the sun . It’s not a sport, in sport there is fair competition , here the animals die and the humans sit on their corpses for a selfie. Trophy hunting is about killing wildlife and when more and more species are heading towards the brink of extinction its no longer ethically or morally acceptable.

The vast majority of people opposed to bloodsports of all kinds which is why there is a public outcry every time an issue like this comes to light . Look at what happened after the killing of Cecil the lion, or how Theresa May misjudged the public’s mood when she said she wanted to bring back fox-hunting.

As representatives of the UK people the UK Government should put direct pressure on the authorities in Botswana to keep the current trophy hunting ban in place. I call on members of the public to get in touch with President Masisi on social media and politely implore him to drop this potentially calamitous proposal.

We need to make it clear to officials in Botswana that the world will not look kindly upon the country if it decides to take such a damaging backward step.

We still hear those involved in trophy hunting trot out the tired old lie that its about conservation.  But killing wildlife for fun is a dying business and this is just another way for them to try to justify their desire to kill for pleasure”.

Nicky Campbell:

“These are remarkable, intelligent, sentient beings and are a lot nicer than us.  They mourn, and killing one of them disrupts the herd, and the only person happy is the wealthy American hunter posing on his kill.  The argument of money for conservation is a myth. Elephants have been going to Botswana from other countries because they know it is safe. We must keep it that way!”