New polling published February 16, 2009, the fifth anniversary of the Hunting Act coming into force, shows there is consistent public support for the ban on hunting with dogs.
The charity which spent over eighty years campaigning for a ban on hunting with dogs says it is celebrating the success of the Hunting Act. The League says that more than a hundred convictions show that the Act is working well.
The polls, conducted each month by YouGov for the League, show that on average over two and a half times as many people disagree with lifting the ban than would support such a move. Over the last eight months, roughly two thirds of people have consistently said that they approve of the ban.
The League is using the anniversary to release a new film in which celebrities including actress Gemma Atkinson and former Doctor Who Colin Baker are shown footage of fox hunting from before the ban and their reactions are filmed. Atkinson is visibly upset and reduced to tears in the film.
Chief Executive of the League, Douglas Batchelor, said:
“The Hunting Act sent out a clear message that the chasing and killing of wild animals for sport is unacceptable. Five years on, with two convictions taking place every month, it’s clear that the Act is working, the public overwhelmingly support it, and we are immensely proud of it.”
Hitting back at pro-hunting campaigners who claim that only a few traditional hunts have been convicted, Mr Batchelor said that the League set out to make it illegal to kill animals for sport, regardless of how it was done. “The Hunting Act has been most widely used against hare coursers, but there are an increasing number of convictions of people involved in traditional hunting,” he said.
Hunting Act convicts include television chef and ‘fat lady’ Clarissa Dickson Wright, who was convicted last year after attending a hare coursing event.