Hunting Lobby ‘’Fighting for our Sport’’
Candidates Please Be Aware.
The misguided reasoning of a prospective parliamentary candidate
Why this prospective MP will vote to repeal the hunting act based solely on the nonsense espoused by the hunting lobby. Nonsense which is debunked in the Chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations leaked email as published in the national press.
Lorraine Platt Co-Founder of the Blue Fox Group, Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, said:
“Let there be no mistake the arguments that hunting is for animal welfare is pure tosh. This, in the hunting lobbies own words, is ’fighting for our sport’.
A ‘Blood Sport’ for a tiny minority of clubs of people who gather together to chase an animal to its death for their personal pleasure.”
The Chairman of The Council of Hunting Associations states in his leaked email:
“In the face of everything that has happened over the last two decades, the hunting community has never given up fighting for our sport, for our hounds, and to enable our children and their children to enjoy both, as we have.”
A prospective Conservative Candidate and MP in the last Parliament said in a recent email to his dismayed constituent:
“In regards the Hunting Act, I appreciate the strong feelings many people have on this issue and I share your concern for ensuring the welfare of animals. As you may be aware, the Government intended in July 2015 to give the House of Commons an opportunity to amend the provisions for exempt hunting so that farmers and gamekeepers could decide, based on the terrain and other circumstances, if it is appropriate to use more than two dogs to flush out foxes. Conservative Members would have received a free vote.
As our current Prime Minister Theresa May has recently intimated, the Government intends to give Parliament an opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote in the forthcoming Parliament, should the Conservative party be voted back into government on 8th June.
In the event of such a vote, I would vote to repeal it. In my judgement the Act does nothing to protect wild animals and, in many cases, is actually detrimental to animal welfare when other methods of control are deployed, a number of which can be indiscriminate.
I am sorry if this is not the response you were seeking but I do appreciate that many people have strongly held views about hunting. I respect this and that is why the issue has been voted on on a free vote for many years.”
Lorraine Platt, of Blue Fox further commented:
‘ We urge all the public to contact their candidates and ask them to support the Hunting Act 2004 which bans hunting hares, stags, mink and foxes with dogs and the cruel sport of hare coursing. Let your candidate know your view and ask them to vote against the repeal of the Act if a free vote is offered. There is no justification to hunt these mammals with dogs for sport in the 21st century.’
Leaked email in full source as reported in a national newspaper:
‘While anything can change in a six-week election campaign, and we know that the polls cannot be relied on, there is a real chance that on 8th June, Theresa May could achieve a majority significantly in excess of the seventeen seats she currently has. A majority of fifty or more would give us a real opportunity for repeal of the Hunting Act (HA), or perhaps an alternative legislative measure – but only if that leaves hunting in a better position than it is now. It must be clearly understood that repeal is our primary objective, but also that politics is “the art of the possible”, and we will take whichever option is the most advantageous to hunting when the time comes. It will only become clear what our best option is after 8th June.
First, we need a cast iron manifesto commitment from the Conservative Party, as we had in the last four election manifestos. Like everyone else, we will have to wait until the manifesto is published on 8th May to be certain, but Simon Hart MP and I have received assurances that such a commitment will be carried forward to the 2017 manifesto. I have made it clear that we will only provide support on that basis, and that if the manifesto does not contain an acceptable commitment, we will withdraw our support.
It is important that everyone understands why the idea that “the Government did not honour the manifesto commitments after the 2010 and 2015 elections” is incorrect. On both occasions David Cameron made it clear that he would authorise and fully endorse a vote in a manner, and at a time, of our choosing.
During the Coalition Government a vote could only take place if the Liberal Democrats agreed, which they did not. After 2015 the Scottish Nationalists reversed their earlier commitment to abstain from any votes that did not impact Scotland, and opposed the proposed Statutory Instrument, and consequently the Government Chief Whip did not think we could win a vote in the House of Commons.
All the advice we received was that we should not risk such a vote unless we had a reasonable expectation of winning. We therefore concluded it was not in hunting’s best interests to put the matter to a vote. I am sure that was the correct decision.
We have repeatedly made clear that we need a Government that has both a manifesto commitment to repeal the HA, and a big enough majority to get repeal through the Commons and then the Lords.
It now looks, unexpectedly, as if there is a very real chance we could get such a Government. While nothing in politics is certain, this is by far the best opportunity we have had since the ban, and is probably the best we are likely to get in the foreseeable future.
On that basis, we must do everything we possibly can to maximise the chance of getting repeal of the HA. I am confident that every Master will give the leadership and direction that our community needs at this seminal moment.
Vote OK, under the direction of George Bowyer, has already started to plan what we are all going to do during the campaign. A number of constituencies do not yet have candidates, so there is a role for us in making sure that only candidates supportive of hunting are selected. Vote OK will advise how best to achieve this.
We will only help candidates who give us an unequivocal commitment to support repeal when the time comes. Nor do we need to help candidates in “safe seats” with large majorities. Instead we will concentrate on those seats where we can make the most difference.
Unless specifically advised to the contrary, every Hunt should assume that it will be needed to assist with political work and start making arrangements to mobilise supporters now. Please make sure that your Hunt has an active and effective Vote-OK Coordinator in place and that they are making regular contact with your Regional Vote-OK Director (RVOD). Please do not wait to hear where your Hunt should go, but contact them as soon as possible. If you do not know who your RVOD is, contact George Bowyer by email at [address redacted].
In the face of everything that has happened over the last two decades, the hunting community has never given up fighting for our sport, for our hounds, and to enable our children and their children to enjoy both, as we have.
This is the chance we have been waiting for. We have six weeks to show, yet again, what we are made of, and our undying commitment to our way of life.
We have six weeks to win back all that has been taken from us. Masters, if ever there was a time to give a lead, this is it. Please don’t waste a single day of those six weeks.’
Chairman, Council of Hunting Associations