Sunday, 19 July 2015

Supporting the ban on foxhunting with hounds

I am committed to defending the 2004 ban on hunting with hounds and will vote against the Government’s proposals to weaken the Hunting Act.

I believe that we have a moral duty to treat animals in a humane and compassionate way. The unnecessary, prolonged suffering of defenceless animals has no place in our civilised society.

The Conservative Party’s election manifesto included a commitment to give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote. David Cameron has now confirmed that his party intends to water down the Hunting Act in England and Wales instead.
According to the Tories, this change allow farmers and gamekeepers to use “effective and humane shooting” as a method of pest control “as part of the existing exemption in the Act”.

Hunters would simply be able to exploit this loose wording to claim they were assessing fox populations or disease levels when in fact they were taking part in this barbaric sport.

This amendment has been designed to make prosecutions impossible, not to control the fox population in the countryside.

It is also clear that the majority of the public shares this view: not only have I received hundreds of emails supporting the maintaining of the ban, but a recent Ipsos MORI poll has shown that 80% of the public also wishes to maintain it.

The public’s opinion is very clear; why are the Tories wasting Parliamentary time on this amendment?