New Survey Sheds Light on European Acceptance of So-Called “Trophy” Hunting

Belgium, Europe


A survey conducted by YouGov1 and commissioned by the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) and partner organisations, has unveiled a significant acceptance of international hunting, often mislabelled as “trophy” hunting.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Infographic on Public Opinion on So-Called “Trophy” Hunting in Europe (Photo: FACE – the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation)

The independent sample survey by YouGov2 of over 7000 Europeans from five countries, shows that a majority of EU citizens accept hunting. Only 23% disagree with keeping animal parts, a practice often referred to as “trophy” hunting, whilst 77% either approve or are neutral.

This starkly contrasts the claim that 85% of Europeans oppose “trophy” hunting made by the Humane Society International3. Their misdirection has resulted in several national parliaments initiating efforts to ban “trophy” imports.

The survey, conducted in November 2023, aimed to ascertain unbiased public opinion on the social acceptance of domestic and international hunting. A focus was on the retention of animal parts (e.g. horns, antlers, etc.) as well as the acceptance of legal hunting that benefits conservation.

These findings challenge a narrow perception of hunting as solely targeting “trophies” of charismatic species, as often propagated by animal rights organisations.

Therefore, bans or restrictions on the movement of legally obtained “trophies” are not supported by society, and negatively impact local communities, economies, and biodiversity.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) briefing paper,4 states that “trophy hunting…can and does generate critically needed incentives and revenue for government, private and community landowners to maintain and restore wildlife as a land use and to carry out conservation actions”

For the complete report on the public attitude toward “trophy” hunting, see here.

About Us: FACE – the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation is the voice of 7 million European Hunters and represents 37 national members.

1 All data are provided by YouGov PLC. 7.188 respondents participated in the survey, which took place between the 30.10. and 21.11.2023 in Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Poland. The results were weighted and are representative for the population (age 18+) in the respective country.
2 The survey was conducted by independent polling company YouGov at the request of sustainable use organisations: CIC – International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation, Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, Wild Sheep Foundation, Conservation Force, and the International Professional Hunters Association.


Media Contact:

Tristan Breijer – FACE Policy Advisor