On Dec 24th the Sunday Times reported that Theresa May is to abandon a manifesto pledge to overturn the ban on fox hunting. The hunting lobby’s claims that the issue was not important to the electorate is a contradiction to their earlier claims as commented in an article in a leading hunting publication where they acknowledged just how important fox hunting was in the election. In the article titled ‘The Oncoming Train’ (June 9th 2017) it was acknowledged that the second most important issue to students, (the next generation), behind free tuition was the ‘anti hunt message’.
The hunting lobby looks to the past, the Conservative Party looks to the future.
Let us move on from the repeal issue.
When the `sport` of hunting with dogs was legal, Boxing Day became a day of blood lust by groups of people looking to tear our wildlife apart with dogs. Thankfully this `sport` was outlawed in 2004 when the country put the Hunting Act on the Statute books. But as has occurred with dog fighting and cock fighting, a minority still persists in illegally flouting the law and try to continue their grim pass time.
We therefore welcome the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove’s, statement made at the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) reception in the House of Commons on the 5th December, The Secretary of State confirmed that he would be introducing stronger sentencing for animal cruelty. We look forward to this being implemented and applaud this important measure.
It is clear that the Conservative party, under the guidance of the Secretary of State for the Environment, is determined to make sure that the United Kingdom leads the world in animal welfare standards.
It is heartening to see that there are now over 100 Conservative MPs who have committed to opposing any repeal of the Hunting ACT 2004 which bans hunting hares, stags, mink and foxes with dogs. Indeed, during the last few months, an increasing number of previously pro-repeal Conservative MP’s – about a third of the parliamentary party have reversed their earlier held position and said they would now not vote to repeal the Hunting Act 2004.
Lorraine Platt, Co- Founder of Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, commented:
“It is inconceivable and incomprehensible that in the 21st century any political party would want to align or associate itself with a tiny minority of people who think that it’s acceptable to return the banned activity of chasing terrified hares and foxes so that they can be torn apart by packs of dogs for their ‘blood sport’.
During this year’s general election the hunting lobby’s own spokesman finally acknowledged that their activity was a `sport` and not about wildlife management ; the Chairman of the Council of hunting Associations was reported on May 2017 as saying: “never given up fighting for our sport”.
Lorraine Platt added,
“We must now finally move on from the toxic repeal issue within the Conservative party. Let us hope that this media release will be one of the very last that needs to be issued in order to help protect our British wildlife from the threat of repeal which is pursued by a tiny minority of hunting clubs who still persist in their relentless determination to see a repeal of the ban on hunting with dogs.”
Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale, a patron of Conservatives Against Fox Hunting and a Life Member of the League Against Cruel Sports, says:
Younger generations of voters are repelled by this issue which in their eyes has properly been consigned to the dustbin of history. No party can afford to be out of step with the majority British public opinion on animal welfare concerns and I am proud that my own party is once again taking a lead to strengthen still further the protection afforded to all sentient animals.”