12 years of Hunting Act: the fight continues
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

League Against Cruel Sports
December 2016

A recent poll carried out by Ipsos MORI in September 2016 revealed that the large majority of the British public oppose making fox hunting (84%), deer hunting (88%), and hare hunting (91%) legal again.

That recent Ipsos MORI polling also showed support among Conservative voters for the ban on fox hunting has risen sharply. It is now at 73%, having risen from 64% in 2013, 66% in 2014, and 70% in 2015. With this in mind any attempt to repeal the Hunting Act by the Conservative Party would be deeply unpopular not just amongst the majority of the British public, but also the party’s own supporters.

league against cruel sports

On November 18, 12 years ago, the Hunting Act was passed in Parliament which made hunting wild mammals with dogs illegal after it gained royal assent. This was a defining moment in the history of animal protection legislation in the UK, providing protection to a number of animals including foxes, hare, deer and mink.

Since its introduction, the Hunting Act has been the target of considerable attack from the pro-hunt lobby who seek to overturn the ban. Even before the Hunting Act was passed hunters pledged to break the law and do everything they could to undermine it, which has made the ban difficult to enforce and this is why we now want to strengthen the Act . But despite the enforcement problems, 12 years on the Hunting Act remains in place and is more popular than ever!

A recent poll carried out by Ipsos MORI in September 2016 revealed that the large majority of the British public oppose making fox hunting (84%), deer hunting (88%), and hare hunting (91%) legal again.

Support for the ban on fox hunting was also high in rural areas, at 82%. Time and time again the pro-hunt lobby claim to represent the views of the countryside… yet time and time again polling shows they clearly do not. They simply speak for a tiny minority of blood sports enthusiasts ignoring the views of the very people they claim to represent.

You would think that after 12 years since it was passed, and with overwhelming public support, our Government would also be satisfied to have the ban in place today, right?

Wrong. On two previous occasions the Government have attempted to weaken the legislation, which would have made it impossible to enforce. Thankfully these attempts were defeated after campaigns by the League and other animal protection organisations.

Now Andrea Leadsom, the Environment Secretary who openly supports fox hunting, has again pledged to hold a vote on legalising hunt cruelty, declaring there was a “need to exterminate vermin, which foxes are”. If that is what Andrea Leadsom thinks she really ought to have a word with the hunters who seem to keep getting caught feeding foxes, rearing fox cubs and keeping captive foxes, in order to provide a steady supply for them to hunt…

That recent Ipsos MORI polling also showed support among Conservative voters for the ban on fox hunting has risen sharply. It is now at 73%, having risen from 64% in 2013, 66% in 2014, and 70% in 2015. With this in mind any attempt to repeal the Hunting Act by the Conservative Party would be deeply unpopular not just amongst the majority of the British public, but also the party’s own supporters.

With this in mind it is time that Andrea Leadsom joined the rest of the country, and the majority of her party’s supporters, in celebrating the Hunting Act was passed, and in ensuring that it is properly enforced so it can finally protect the animals that it was set to protect.


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