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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Tories revert to type on fox-hunting

The Times reports that, as expected David Cameron is planning to hold a vote on the hunting ban. What was less expected is that he is planning to do so next week.

In truth, the amendment to the Hunting Act is quite a crafty one. The plan is to allow landowners to use a full pack of hounds to flush out a fox before shooting it. Only two hounds can be used at present. This move would bring England and Wales into line with Scotland, making it harder for the SNP to vote it down.

The paper adds that it is not certain that the change will be passed by MPs. It will be a free vote, meaning MPs will not be instructed how to vote by party whips and some ministers are known to be against any relaxation of the ban, which was brought in by Labour in 2004.

I tend to agree with Robbie Marsland, the director of the League Against Cruel Sports, who has accused Cameron of “sneaking hunting in through the back door”. He said: “By amending the Hunting Act, the government are deliberately and cynically making it easier for hunts to chase and kill foxes, and harder for them to be convicted when they break the law.”

This is not a technical amendment by any stretch of the imagination, it is effectively the reintroduction of hunting with hounds and as such it should be resisted.
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