Cameron’s bottle-out on fox hunting: a good broken promise

by Sally Bercow

Spare a thought for the scarlet-clad tally-ho brigade. Not only were over half the Boxing Day foxhunts called off due to heavy snow and ice, but it looks increasingly like game-over for a repeal of the hunting ban too. As DEFRA officials recently admitted, David Cameron has now abandoned his oft-repeated commitment to facilitate an early overturning of the ban. A free House of Commons vote has been kicked firmly into the long grass. Indeed, with a bit of luck, it may not even take place at all.

This is music to the ears of most people in Britain. For, unlike our prime minister (who was born into the hunting tradition and has repeatedly argued that the 2004 hunting act was “a mistake”), over three-quarters (76%) of us believe that fox hunting should remain illegal. Despite concerted propaganda to the contrary by the countryside alliance and their ilk, Labour’s hunting act has proved to be a popular, humane and effective piece of legislation, which enjoys an impressive conviction rate.

It would be heartening to think that Mr Cameron has abandoned his pledge swiftly to repeal the ban because he has undergone a Damascene conversion. All who oppose wanton cruelty might sleep more easily in their beds if they thought that their prime minister now acknowledged the error of his ways and accepted that, in a modern, civilised society, there is simply no place for dogs to shred foxes to pieces. Such a volte-face would be a real blow (“I say, old chap, what’s going on”?) to the die-hard, unreconstructed, hunting-obsessed Tory toffs who think that opposition to their “sport” is merely the vulgar prejudice of the lower orders.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that the prime minister’s legislative self-denial reflects a change of heart on the “merits” of fox-hunting. Rather, it is evidence of the low cunning of the ultimate politician. If one were uncharitable, one might say that Cameron has bottled it. But I’m not, so I won’t. Rather, he doesn’t want to risk losing the vote, appearing reactionary or (horror of horrors) both.

Lose the vote, you cry? But surely 99% of Tories support hunting? Well, no actually – a growing number have the good sense to recognise what a neanderthal pastime it is and to oppose a repeal of the ban. In fact, according to the website Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (set up last year and proof of the changing tide of Conservative opinion), two-thirds of Tory supporters are against the repeal of the hunting act. More significantly, thanks largely to a new generation of MPs, a sizeable chunk of the Conservative Parliamentary party (as many as 22 MPs according to the league against cruel sports) now backs the ban. In addition, 42 of the 57 Lib Dems (including Nick Clegg) are opposed to repealing the ban, together with all but an insignificant handful of Labour MPs. As a result, the parliamentary arithmetic makes it unlikely that the PM and his fellow blood sports enthusiasts would succeed in overturning the ban.

Now it is understandable that David Cameron doesn’t want to hold a free vote right now. He’s got more pressing issues on his mind, not least whether the deepest public spending cuts in living memory will pay off. But repealing the ban was a Tory manifesto commitment and the coalition agreement also stated that there would be an “indicative” vote on the matter, allowing the Commons to express its view.

So one might assume that the prime minister will allow a vote in the near future, certainly within this parliament. But don’t bet on it; manifesto commitments are all too easy to break – just ask the Liberal Democrats (beware sanctimonious crowing, though, Labour’s record isn’t entirely blemish-free). Doubtless, Mr Cameron would be prepared to dive into the reactionary lane and swim against the tide of public opinion if he thought he’d win and the ban would be repealed. But he knows that there is a very real chance that he would be on the losing side; that he would be seen to be outdated and out of touch; and that he simply won’t be able to deliver what he promised to the hidebound traditionalists when he was slavering after their votes less than a year ago.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The hunting lobby must think it’s a jolly poor show. The rest of us should welcome the news that the prime minister isn’t prepared to stick his neck out and seek to deliver on his barbaric pledge. Above all, though, we should be grateful for the growing number of Conservative MPs who have the bottle to stand up to the tally-ho brigade and refuse to turn the clock back to cruelty.

Sally Bercow is a Labour activist and freelance writer and broadcaster.

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28 Responses to “Cameron’s bottle-out on fox hunting: a good broken promise”

  1. Cynic says:

    I am sure you will have read Tony Blair’s book. In it he says that the hunting ban is “one of the domestic legislative measures I most regret”, and claims he ensured that the Hunting Act was “a masterly British compromise” that left enough loopholes to allow hunting to continue “provided certain steps were taken to avoid cruelty when the fox is killed.”

  2. Cassandra says:

    Oh Sally & Cynic – please can we focus on something important. That is why the Tories dropped this issue – because no-one cares about it.

    Why not focus on something fundamental in terms of substance and strategy – like the Banks.

    Call for a public Commission of Inquiry into the causes of the bust and bailout. The current Banking Commission is fundamentally flawed. It is primarily looking to the future before understanding the past, is not taking evidence in public, has no power to compel production of documents, no power to take evidence on oath and no power to grant amnesty to whistleblowers.

    The public HATE the bankers. They hated Brown as well but they got the chance to give him a good kicking and see Labour humbled and apologetic. The bankers have never been humbled and have never apologised.

  3. kappacino says:

    Isn’t there some possibility that camerons U turn is also partly to do with the Liberal influence in the coalition, could Cameron really get this legislation through without it. It also allows the Libs to point to something where they have influenced the Tories. No lying on his back and waiting for his tummy to be stroked for Vince cable when he can save the foxes!

  4. mhayworth says:

    “Labour’s hunting act has proved to be a popular, humane and effective piece of legislation”

    Only Sally Bercow would have the gall to brag about an act that we all know now was only put in place to fool Labour supporters into thinking they had made hunting with hounds illegal. To make it worse, Labour MPs who knew this and knew that the police were not meant to enforce it, had the gall to used it as a campaigning tool!

    This is Labour – the party where the appalling Halal slaughter became commonplace in the UK and the party who decided that it would be unfair competition to force labelling on meat from EU imports where farm animals are still castrated without anasthetic (just to fatten them up). A party where British flags became acceptable on food imports where only the final piece of packaging is done in this country (again to fool us into thinking we are buying British).

    The coalition are no better because they haven’t stopped any of these digusting practices but I pray they will have enough MPs with the balls to improve and enforce Labours pathetic hunting act (and I don’t mean with the Countryside Alliance’s ‘Hunting Regulatory Authority’ that Cameron plans to slip in – which is just another faux welfare ploy written by hunt lawyers and it doesn’t stop them from hunting foxes at all!).

    What we’ve all come to realise is that there isn’t a political party in the UK that gives a toss about animal welfare but at least we know that 75% of voting public do care and intend to hold them all to account.

  5. “The hunting lobby must think it’s a jolly poor show.”

    They do, and they disgust me. But I hate the so-called ‘sports’ of fox hunting, hare coursing, stag hunting, etc., because I can’t cope with the idea of killing animals for fun. There are millions more like me.

    I advised a hunting friend of long standing to stick to drag hunting in light of the Hunting Act 2004. His response was, ‘It’s not the same.’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Because there’s no kill.’ I advised a prominent Conservative MEP the same and do you know what he said? ‘Drag hunting is like sucking a sweetie with the wrapper on.’ There are some beasts about and some of them suppose themselves to be both human and humane. They are very much mistaken.

    By the way, I write this as a former Conservative activist, as a farmer, and as a born and bred countryman.

  6. MarkD says:

    “the scarlet-clad tally-ho brigade”
    “die-hard, unreconstructed, hunting-obsessed Tory toffs who think that opposition to their “sport” is merely the vulgar prejudice of the lower orders”.

    God I am sick of socialist spite! In case you hadn’t noticed, we have moved on from the 19th century. Most people don’t give a toss about likle foxy-woxy (rural or urban) and are more concerned in how we are going to get ourselves out of the complete mess you lot have made of this country (again). I wonder sometimes if keeping antiquated class stereotypes alive and snide name-calling is all that the Labour Party has got left now that you have been completely, utterly discredited.
    This is exactly why this country will never move forward and why so many hardworking, intelligent people emigrate!

    This comment has been slightly edited.

  7. Very interesting article Sally and very welcome to read and see there are a few points we would like to add.

    First of to Cassandra, you are 100% wrong in your view nobody cares about this issue. That is not reality and it shows a lack of compassion for animals on your part to add such a point. This issue is relevant to many millions of people and remains so because it is important. If you feel deliberate animal cruelty is of no interest to you then why posts on a topic about it?



    We enjoyed reading this article and how you show the difficulties that David Cameron has found himself in. Privately the hunting lobby are furious with him and have been throwing out their toys from the pram for some time.

    The maths of a Free Vote have not gone as he assumed and nor has it for the other 300 Tory MPs known to support repeal. Yet a Free Vote was always unlikely to have ever taken place the moment he and the hunting lobby thought they could lose.

    It has never been set in stone and it was largely a face saving exercise for the Lib Dems when it was repeated. The commitment of a Free Vote was given prior to the election when the Conservatives thought they would have a large enough majority. To them it was a case of rubber stamping and that is how it was thought of. Even with the Coalition the expectation with the Lib Dems was that they would abstain at such a vote with the nod of Clegg to them.

    Now given the dire situation the Lib Dems are in, it’s clear the view against repeal hardened over the past 2/3 months as they are not keen to see themselves portrayed as the party that let hunting return. Even Clegg can see pandering to Cameron on this issue would be the final nail in the coffin.

    So the Free Vote aspect has largely been a bit of a red herring. The delay is seen by Cameron and the hunting lobby as a setback but not the end of the matter. Instead a more dubious path to repeal is already being attempted in the form of a stepping stone.

    A disgraceful Labour Lord who is linked 100% with the Countryside Alliance Lord Donohue is trying to secure what has become known as The Hunting Regulatory Authority which is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

    The bill would be linked to elements of a wildlife welfare bill which is said will call for some forms of animal suffering to be made illegal, not hunting of course and just what they mean and what animal issues has not be disclosed.

    The idea being to pretend that hunting can be made softer and on the surface with the more nasty side taken away. While saying they will ban other animal cruelty. It is of course a complete con, for the notion that hunters will face a slap on a wrist from their own if they do something cruel is fantasy.

    The act of hunting which is cruel from the chase to the kill with the extreme cruelty of being torn apart cannot be watered down. Yet that is what they are seeking as a stepping stone before full repeal. The danger is the public will see the other animal issues they are talking of banning and will buy into them trying to present a more reasonable front to hide their cruelty.

    This approach was no doubt borne out of the Repeal Committee set up by Tory MPs Edward Garnier in 2008 with Cameron’s full backing and lead by Nick Herbert MP, he at that time was the Shadow DEFRA Minister and is now the Policing Minister

    Nick Herbert by the way started out with the (BFSS) The British Field Sport Society where he was their director of political affairs. The BFSS was an extreme organisation with tendency’s to support violence against protestors. The BFSS went on to become the Countryside Alliance?

    The vice chair of the repeal committee is Lord Astor who is Samantha Cameron’s stepfather which say it all really.

    The ploy of the Hunting Regulatory Authority is to soften up the public and its ultimate aim is to be that stepping stone to full repeal. And that sadly is still the case in how we see it. The delay in them being able to attempt repeal is great news and great for our wildlife. Yet this battle is not over and there are other options Cameron has.

    The Free Vote aspect will be dropped but not the attempt at a vote which will be likely in 2012. It’s expected that a backbencher will put forward a private members bill and that after allowing them to run with it for a period of time Cameron will get behind it and make it a government bill. Now while on a Free Vote some Tory MPs have been saying they will support the ban it is of course a different matter when it comes to vote against the government.

    We do welcome the indications of some 20/22 Tory MPs offering support for the ban we are cautious however to say can they all be relied on? In any case it will come down to Labour and Lib Dem MPs making the largest grouping against repeal.

    With Labour making the most noise and showing as ever that the vast bulk of Labour MPs always support the ban. It is after all Labours record that stands out in their compassion and commitment to ending this cruelty. This history is something Labour must make clear to the public and it should not be seen by Labour as a non political issue it is and that is the reality.

    Sadly though while we wish it was the case we do not believe repeal has been firmly placed in the long grass. Cameron and the hunting lobby are wedded to such an extent that their relationship is closer than Nick Clegg. The hunting lobby seek payback for all the support Vote OK gave the Tories in the run up to the election.

    Vote OK being a front of the Countryside Alliance. To gain that help Tory MPs had to pledge to them that they would vote for repeal. They hunting lobby are not interested in waiting forever and Cameron is obsessed by repeal just as much. So the battle is not over, only if we can get past 2012/13 will there be a far bigger chance that those who seek mindless deliberate animal cruelty will not succeed in bringing it back.

    To do that we have to make the public aware of the importance of this issue and for Labour to show more of a lead than it did in the run up to the election.

  8. Barbara says:

    Cassandra you are wrong if you think no one cares about preserving the hunting ban, it might be hard for you to understand this but some of us are capable of caring about more than one thing at a time, so while we “focus on something fundamental in terms of substance and strategy – like the Banks.” we are also able to focus on the cruelty of hunting wild animals to their death in extreme terror and pain and focus on the fact that most of us – 76% – want to ban to stay. Call the Labour party what names you will you can’t escape the fact that the hunting ban came into being during Labour’s government, and whatever Blair did or did not say the ban is there today because Labour put it there. Cameron is sly, he took the backing of the Countryside Alliance promising them that they’d be back legally killing for kicks within months of him jackbooting his way into Downing Street, but now he’s not so sure so he’s going about it in a sneaky underhand – in fact Cameronesque way. But we will make sure that the public knows what he is about and what he wants to allow to happen to OUR wildlife and I think he will find he has a bigger fight on his hands than he ever dreamed of.

  9. Kirsty Scott says:

    Cassandra, you could not be more mistaken in your belief that nobody cares about this issue. Anti hunters worked tirelessly in the run up to the election to bring this issue to the voter’s attention and to this day there are thousands of people discussing this very issue daily on social networking sites. I’d like to concur with Barbara also, we are more than capable of thinking about the huge issues that our country is facing at the same time as being adamant in our belief that this bloodthirsty, outdated, barbaric pastime has no place in Modern Britain.
    Great article Sally.

  10. Mike says:

    As an ex Labour activist (no longer a member or supporter of any political party) I have to agree with with M Hayworth’s comments in response to the article. Where were Sally Bercow et all post the Act coming in when many of us were stood in fields being assaulted by hunts as the killing went on virtually the same as before and not a single Labour MP or offical (with the exception of John McDonnell) would raise any noise about it at all? Ann Widdecombe did more than any Labour Minister to shout about the abuse and law breaking that was going on.The appalling betryal of Labour over hunting and revealed by Blair in his book was what finally meant I left the Labour party. As for ‘fox in Parliament’ he brushes over the fact that the Labour party has within its parliamentary ranks not only the chair of the Countryside Alliance but its President also-not to mention 2 Labour peers who are high ranking within the alliance and one of which employs a CA official as an assistant!

  11. Cardiff Jack says:

    I reckon that the pro-hunting lobby (including the Countryside Alliance) is perfectly happy with Cameron’s position. They are content to carry on with the current legal position, which is a good enough compromise for them. The last thing they want is the prospect of another divisive national debate, which might risk shining a light on current practices.

  12. Mike you could not be more wrong on you view of Labour MPs and Ministers. The reason we got the ban was because of their determination to see it happen. You may dislike Labour now but the values that you joined for where the same as the Labour MPs supporting getting a ban and then seeing it kept.

    Hardly any Labour MPs did not support the ban yet you make it sound like the Tories through Ann Widdecombe were more active. No that is just not the case. We were there throughout and have been for close to two decades. We know the MPs who were on the side of our wildlife and that was Labour. Not the Lib Dems and not the Tories.

    Blair’s book is irrelevant, he had no impact on the outcome of the ban and his option of supporting the Middle Way Approach was rejected fully by Labour MPs.

    His view did not alter the will of Labour MPs and as for the allegation of the police not enforcing the hunting ban? The Police have for many, many decades has a biased nature towards the hunting set and still do with some forces. They were not alone as Judges, Barristers, Lawyers and chief Police Officers all went hunting or socialised with the hunting set.

    That attitude built up of many years and it was always known getting the ban would be hard but making the Police act would be harder. They are Independent and they are quite able to ignore the wishes’ of the public when it suits them.

    We know people made a big fuss about Blair’s remarks but the reality is they made no difference at all.

    You seem to hate Labour well that’s your choice but do not assume Labour MPs do not care about our wildlife as they do and they say so. We have a ban because Labour MPs demanded a ban.

    The ban is at risk today because of David Cameron and his Tory MPs and the Hunting Lobby. Just as in the past the Tories are the friends of those who seek to kill for fun. We know who is a danger to wildlife and its not Labour.

  13. Mike says:

    Fox In Parliament with his curious re-writing of history totally ignores the evidence and comes out with lots of ‘my party right or wrong stuff’ which does not impress the countess people in animal welfare across the country who do not support the Labour party and the many whom felt totally disgusted over the betryal over hunting. For a start the Labour party actively supports bloodsports in that it suppports shooting and snaring (fact) and it is well known (although fox in parliament ignores this) that pro shooting Labour MPs and Ministers ensured the the so called ‘ban’ (news to those of us who monitor hunts that there is a ban actually) was so worded so that shooting and terrier work was not impacted on. This is all documented and was boasted about by Labour MPs at the time. FIP brushes over the fact that Blair, his Ministers and the Labour party top down were in on the shutting down of any enforcement of the Act and actively shunned many of us who were witnessing what was going on. Until people like FIP acknowledge all of this and stop this fawning over the Labour party on these matters, as it is beyond crticism, then the LP will not get any trust from compassionate minded people and the very sizeable animal welfare/rights community. At present FIP is occupying la la land.

  14. linzi burgess says:


  15. Giles Bradshaw says:

    The hunting act as it effects me means that I can no longer use my dogs to flush deer in order to disperse them unless I limit the dogs to two and then shoot them.

    Can anyone explain why shooting the deer I flush is better than a method I have used for many years and has never killed or injured a single animal?

    The law is a farce and I will never obey it. I’ve been openly flushing deer with dogs for the last 6 years. The police are fully aware that i break the law and allow me to do so.

    Why can’t politicians create simple well thought out laws?

  16. Ewan McCowen says:

    How do dogs shred foxes? I’ve got opposable thumbs and I struggle to operate a shredder. I suppose they get together, have a debate and take a vote on it before delegating relevant tasks, because that’s the way things work in the animal kingdom

  17. Fubar Saunders says:

    Sally doesnt give a stuff about the Act. All Sally cares two hoots about is her own self publicity and the polishing of her own ego. One who plainly has forgotten the old chinese proverb of “Better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought a fool, rather than to speak and remove all possible doubt”.

  18. Wayne says:

    I, like the vast majority of the voting public, do not want to see the Hunting Act repealed. I do, however, want to see the loopholes closed and it properly enforced by the police and courts. It’s far too easy for hunts that still kill foxes to claim “it was an accident”. I’m not against drag hunting, but I am against the killing of our wildlife for “sport”.

  19. J says:

    “The hunting act as it effects me means that I can no longer use my dogs to flush deer in order to disperse them unless I limit the dogs to two and then shoot them.”

    The guidance on the DEFRA website clearly states that flushing with dogs DOES NOT result in an automatic need to shoot them.

    “In particular, the Hunting Act does not require that a deer should be shot when this would be in contravention of the Deer Act. It is a condition of the stalking and flushing out exemption in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Hunting Act that “reasonable steps are taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found or flushed out the wild mammal is shot dead by a competent person”. If when a deer is flushed out it would be unlawful, dangerous or ineffective to shoot it then to do so would not be a reasonable step and as such would not be required by the Hunting Act. ”

    It would be ineffective to shoot them would it not? You are only moving them on, not persuing them with the intention to eventually despatch them. Also, are you competent with a gun? Thought not. You may brag about breaking the law but in fact you are not. Never mind. Maybe you can find some other perceived disobedience to brag about in future.

    However, one thing is clear. The Hunting Act as it stands is not good enough. A law that prevents the use of unleashed dogs to persue any wild mammal would have been clear enough to anyone. Deer control by BDS trained stalkers only, with dogs used only to locate injured deer could have been implemented. The fact that anyone with a gun licence can go and shoot British wildlife with no test of their competency is a disgrace. Oh, and for the Giles’ of this world, anyone who needs to flush deer can do so on foot with leashed dogs very easily.

  20. Fred says:

    David Seymour, the former Mirror journalist who has contributed to this website very recently- and is described as a ‘doyen’- said the following in an interview with ‘Horse and Hound’ in 2006:
    “When I joined the Mirror I was anti-hunting, in the way you are when you don’t think about it…”I’ve been riding for nearly 20 years from Jill Carenza’s yard at Stanton in Gloucestershire, where we keep a horse. Over the years, having spent time with riding and hunting folk, I’ve come to understand what hunting is about — which is rather different from my colleagues at the Mirror.”

    He goes on to criticise the stereotypes Mrs Bercow seems so keen to deploy here:
    “It’s totally over the top calling people ‘toffs on horses’. They [the journalists] have never met the type of people I meet out hunting — I used to go to meets on foot before now. Of course there are people who are rather well off, but there are some at the Mirror like that, and there are certainly some reading the Mirror who are like that.”

    As for what she describes as ‘a popular, humane and effective piece of legislation, which enjoys an impressive conviction rate’:
    “With a purely political hat on [the Hunting Act] is a really stupid piece of legislation that absolutely can’t work,” he argued. “If people think the police can track down and work out whether hounds are running around or chasing a fox, they must be mad — what are they supposed to do, arrest the hounds? It hasn’t been thought through.”

    And what about the 76% figure that has been plucked no doubt from a poll on the League Against Cruel Sports website?
    “More and more statistics are showing that people are coming out in favour of hunting or that they just don’t care either way — it’s fantastic.”

    A fairly comprehensive rebuttal if, like me, you are more inclined to support the wisdom of the ‘doyen’ over the publicity seeking nonsense we read here.

  21. J says:

    Pretty weak rebuttal.

    “And what about the 76% figure that has been plucked no doubt from a poll on the League Against Cruel Sports website?
    “More and more statistics are showing that people are coming out in favour of hunting or that they just don’t care either way — it’s fantastic.”

    Rebuttal??? Can we see some data – a journalist quoting ‘more and more’ is not exactly hard evidence is it?

    Regardless of which website it was plucked from the LACS polls are at least conducted by regulated market research companies, unlike the recent countryside alliance one.

    I also ride and I know many people who hunt and I also ‘understand what it’s all about’. I do not share the views of the journalist above.

    Oh and perhaps you’d like to ask the terriermen of the fernie hunt if they think convictions are impossible under the Hunting Act. As you’re so clued up about hunting that you have to quote from a Mirror journalist to make your point you will no doubt know what I am referring to.

    So is that a rebuttal of the rebuttal?

  22. Emily says:

    I applaud you for this article. It is very brave, and I couldn’t agree more with you. Everyone who is in support of fox hunting should look up the term ‘Sociopath’ – really. Do it. If you can kill without feeling remorse, then that is precisley what you are! No if’s, no buts!

    Although, what is more disturbing is that fox hunting is supposed to be illegal, yet it still goes on. The police arrive at the scene to arrest fox hunting protesters (who are often physically assulted by the tally ho brigade) and stand by while the fox hunting goes ahead. Why are the fox hunters not arrested considering it is illegal? Talk about injustice.

    Talk about ignorant. Fox are honestly wonderful animals, and many people forget that they are infact – dogs. Only they were never domesticated, but dogs they are. They do not deserve to be tortured and terrified. It’s very wrong.

    Many moons ago the upper classes decided to tell the lower classes that foxes were vermon and disease ridden creatures so they (lower classes) would not oppose fox hunting, they believed that the lower classes were so unintelligent that they would go with it and stand by…tut tut.

    Fox hunters = Ignorant Sociopaths.

    Oh yeah, also – ask DEFRA, foxes are NOT vermon.

  23. Fred says:

    J, I take your point on the stats- but I also think that it is very hard to collate accurate polling data,or to use it in argument, on a matter so divisive.

    As the owner of two black labradors, can I get some guidance on this issue of flushing deer? My dogs have on two occasions flushed and killed deer without any prompting from me- although I was happy to enjoy the venison casserole- is this an illegal offence?

  24. Nigel says:

    “but I also think that it is very hard to collate accurate polling data,or to use it in argument, on a matter so divisive”

    Could not agree more Fred especially as the LACS polls appear to employ a teqnique known as push polling, ask the right question to get the right answer. Incidentally before Christmas the LACS conducted a poll asking more straight forward questions and the result showed a fall in support for the ban down to 59%, Not good for the Boxing day press releases. They quickly conducted another going back to the push polling method and suprise suprise support for the ban went back up to 75%.

  25. Nigel says:

    Sally, you have picked on subject you know very little about judging by your article. I can see it is nothing more than a repeating of the propaganda you would expect from the League against cruel sports. How you can say the legislation has proved humane is beyond me, your evidence please?

    What is not propaganda is that six High Ranking officials left the LACS after coming to the view that a ban would lead to an increase in other methods being used to replace foxes no longer killed by hunting and they would likely increase suffering. One of the LACS Officials (CEO) at the time obtained a ban on land owned by the co-op then actually witnessed the above happening as more
    foxes were killed by shotgun shooting and snaring in his own words “by trying to relieve suffering I contributed to increasing it”. Incidentally the Governments own inquiry echoed this view.

    The R.S.P.C.A claimed to have scientific proof hunting was crueller than any other
    method of control and used this to con many Labour MPS. At the Burns inquiry the data turned out to be flawed and Burns was forced to state there is not enough Verifiable Scientific data to reach a view on cruelty.
    No apology was ever made to Labour MPS for misleading them, was it ever needed? Of course not the ban had nothing to do with welfare or suffering, just good old class warfare, hatred and spite.

    No propaganda in my response Sally, and you would doubt why I would wish to see the ban repealed?

  26. Bruce says:

    It’s very easy to quote figures as to how many people are for or against the ban without backing them up.

    A recent poll in the Westmorland Gazette was actually 50/50 for and against repeal – much less than the cited “over three-quarters” that want a ban. Let’s stick to facts not propoganda.

  27. gavin says:

    well lets get this straight this law is a joke it should be repealed many of the people against it do not have a clue what it is about. cruelty to animals ban all of these sports as it is suggested then all of the dogs would have to be put down. is that right? would the activits like that? it is part of the countrys heritage, fact. not all hunters are “toffs” i am a 17 year old school boy who follows this debate beeing of intrest due to me being a government and politics student, and i have to say the amount of lies that come out mouths from supporters makes me laugh at nthe audacity they have to say these things which are made up. what makes me laugh even more are the public who blindly beleive these things without any knowledge of the sport whats so ever. there we go rant over please in future do not ignore info that is there because you simply dont like it and no more lies on this subject thankyou

  28. Dan Strong says:

    I live in the countryside and have done all my 65 years. Fact, most of the people in the countryside see the hunters as thugs of the countryside. They ride about destroying crops, gardens and their hounds even kill pets like domestic dogs and cats. There hush everything up with money and black mail. Many farmers and country folk are living on rented land or in rented homes owned by the blood Junkies. Not all that hunt is mega rich but the many that are buy the rest. This type of money buys journalist, the police and MP’s. How arrogant can you get telling the majority of us that because you don’t enjoy hunting and killing we have not say? Commonsense tells any humane individual that all killing for fun is barbaric, Neanderthal and has no place in a civilized society. I don’t need stats to tell me the majority find these Blood Junkies offensive and the most profound propagandists, I just listen to them bullying the residents in our small village and apply commonsense.

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