Countryside Alliance calls for change to fox hunting laws
Thursday, December 26, 2013
On a day when more than 250, 000 people will take part in a fox hunt, a countryside charity is calling for the government to change its laws on hunting.
The Countryside Alliance is asking the government to address it’s 2010 coalition promise to reconsider the ban on fox hunting.
The charity claim that they have received support from DEFRA, who they say will give consideration to a proposal from farmers to amend the law to make it easier to flush and shoot foxes.
They also suggest that some farmers believe an amendment to be crucial in the lead up to lambing season.
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Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman at Countryside Alliance, said: “We have less than 18 months left in this parliament but the Government is still to make good many of its promises to the countryside – not least the pledge of support to hunting.
"Tackling the failed Hunting Act is a matter of trust between David Cameron, the coalition Government and the countryside. In three and a half years the Government has done nothing to address this illiberal, unjust and divisive law.”
The controversial Hunting Act was passed in 2004, banning the hunting of a wild mammal with a dog.
However hunts can still legally meet and let dogs follow artificially laid trails in what is known as “drag hunting”.
White-Spunner added: "The arguments for repeal or replacement of the ban are unarguable. Proposals to amend the Act backed by science have been brought forward and there is solid support in Parliament. Doing nothing is not an acceptable option.
“Hunting is a totemic issue and even a small improvement to the current situation would go a long way to persuading rural people that the Government is in step with them.”
More than 250 hunts will meet across the country today to take part in the traditional Boxing Day hunt.