Long-term animal rights activist Ricky Gervais has spoken out about trophy hunting being ‘humanity at its very worst’.
The news comes five years after Cecil the lion was killed by a US dentist in Zimbabwe, which sparked outrage and a huge movement to end trophy hunting back in 2015.
Despite this incident sparking outrage across the globe, 6,000 lions have been killed in Africa by hunters since Cecil’s death.
Ricky, who has long supported the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, has spoken to The Sun, saying: “Why are we even having to make the case for banning trophy hunting in the year 2020?”
He continued: “It’s hard to think of anything more sickening or senseless than killing an animal for entertainment, then hacking it up so you can display its body parts and brag about it.
“Trophy hunting is humanity at its very worst. We’ve had five years to do something since the killing of Cecil made everyone aware of what is going on.”
Experts believe that the natural population of lions could be extinct by 2050 if trophy hunting is not made illegal.
Currently, the population of lions in the wild is as low as around 13,000, classing the iconic animal as a vulnerable and endangered species.
The road to making trophy hunting illegal has been thus far long and unsuccessful. However in 2019, the Queen promised to ban trophy imports in her speech, and it was also included as part of the Conservative party’s Election manifesto.
So where are we up to with this? Well, in February, Boris Johnson told parliament that he would deliver the ban.
In the past few weeks, ministers have refused to give a timeline for legislation to MPs. According to the author Eduardo Goncalves, the government’s reluctance to follow through with their promise has resulted in the death of 50 lions from British blood-thirsty hunters.
Eduardo Goncalves has written and released ‘KILLING GAME: The Extinction Industry‘ in light of the anniversary of Cecil’s death.
Eduardo said: “We cannot have any more dithering or delay. Nine out of 10 voters want this stopped. Wildlife is on the brink. Let’s get the ban done.
“There is a roaring trade in lion trophies. The furore around the killing of Cecil has done little to deter lion hunters. There is now a real prospect of lions becoming extinct in the wild.”
One notorious British trophy hunter has likening killing animals for sport to being addicted to drugs saying: “You don’t come off it very easily”.
The pensioner, Paul Roberts, who owns a gun making business operating in West Sussex, features on the list of 500 of the world’s most infamous animal killers in Eduardo’s book.
Paul has been on 33 hunting trips to Africa and once ‘repeatedly shot a leopard to death’ because: “it took two loads of buckshot, 3-inch magnum buckshot, a slug from a 12 bore and two .470s to stop it.”
There are many live petitions to stop trophy hunting and Ban Trophy Hunting campaign has received many other celebrities’ support including Bill Bailer, Lorraine Kelly and Bill Oddie OBE. Find out more about what you can do to help here.
Around 20 people involved in mass brawl ‘with knives’ in Piccadilly Gardens
The violence spilled out into the street
A large group of people were involved in a mass fight ‘with knives’ in Piccadilly Gardens last night.
Around 20 people were caught up in the large brawl on Monday evening, and according to reports some were armed with knives.
The fight took place outside Morrisons on the end of Oldham Street, and happened around 9:30pm.
Witnesses reported seeing some of the suspects carrying knives, although police didn’t recover any from the scene, and busses were forced to stop as the violence spread out onto the road.
Someone who witnessed the fight said on Twitter: “Piccadilly gardens is the roughest place on earth… a lovely night out helping ruined by a group of young kids kicking each others faces in”.
Officers responded to the incident, but no arrests were made or serious injuries reported.
This incident was the third of serious violence in just a few days.
Saturday afternoon saw another incident outside Morrisons in Piccadilly Gardens, in which a man was slashed in the face.
And on Sunday a brawl involving two tables at Barca bar in Castlefield happened, with some involved arming themselves with weapons like bar furniture and a baseball bat.
Leading scientists call for end of face masks and social distancing by June
Do you agree?
Leading scientists have written to the UK government calling for social distancing and face masks to be scrapped from June.
In total 22 scientists have signed the communication, saying that these measures should finish on June 22nd – the same date limits on social contact are set to be scrapped in England.
One of the scientists who has added their name to the letter is Dr Roland Salmon, the former director of the communicable disease centre in Wales.
Dr Salmon told BBC Radio Wales: “I am not venting my frustration but I do think some dialogue is well overdue.
“I have always felt that there has been little credible evidence benefit for many of the measures that we take.”
According to him, the letter was written to encourage the government to focus on protecting vulnerable people rather than the masses as we move forward.
Dr Salmon said we need to deal with the ‘here and now’ when asked about the threat of variants, going on to add that the vaccine has shown it helps prevent severe disease and death.
He added: “We can’t stop living forever while we wait for things to happen”.
Scientists who’ve signed the letter include Prof Robert Dingwall from Nottingham Trent University, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG).
There’s also Prof Anthony Brookes, a geneticist and health data scientist at the University of Leicester, and Prof Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University.
The letter reads: “We are being told simultaneously that we have successful vaccines and that major restrictions on everyday life must continue indefinitely. Both propositions cannot be true.
“We need to give more weight to the data on the actual success of the vaccines and less to theoretical risks of vaccine escape and/or surge in a largely vaccinated population.”
It continues: “Covid-19 no longer requires exceptional measures of control in everyday life, especially where there have been no evaluations and little credible evidence of benefit.
“Measures to reduce or discourage social interaction are extremely damaging to the mental health of citizens; to the education of children and young people; to people with disabilities; to new entrants to the workforce; and to the spontaneous personal connections from which innovation and enterprise emerge.”
Boris Johnson is regarded as ‘untrustworthy’ by six out of 10 voters
It follows weeks of allegations against the PM
According to a new poll Boris Johnson is seen as ‘untrustworthy’ by six out of 10 voters in Britain, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer seen as more trustworthy.
The poll from Ipsos MORI was shared by the Evening Standard, and comes after weeks of leaks and allegations about sleaze aimed at the prime minister.
The research found that Mr Johnson is trusted by just 35% of voters and deemed untrustworthy by 59%, while Sir Keir is seen as trustworthy by 42% and is untrusted by 41%.
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said: “On honesty Boris Johnson is clearly trumped by Keir Starmer, so this is an area of potential risk for him.
“However, his own supporters still trust him, and the public overall have never seen it as one of his strongest attributes … and as previous leaders such as Tony Blair have shown, you don’t have to be ahead on trust to win elections.
“The key question is whether and if these stories continue and start to change the public’s overall view on him as PM.”
The poll was taken following weeks of reports about murky donations being used to refurbish the prime minister’s flat, as well as disclosures about covert lobbying.
However, it was undertaken before the most recent allegations that Mr Johnson said he’d rather see ‘bodies pile high’ than have another lockdown, so those reports won’t have been taken into consideration by those polled.
Despite all the recent controversy, the prime minister and government’s net satisfaction hasn’t changed much since March, with both Mr Johnson (44 satisfied/50 dissatisfied) and Sir Keir (36/46) having net negative ratings.
Ipsos MORI interviewed 1090 adults across the UK by telephone from April 16th to the 22nd – you can find full details here.