In response to Mrs May’s comments announced today on her support for fox hunting, and a free vote on repealing the ban, Conservatives Against Fox Hunting Co- Founder Lorraine Platt said that the repeal issue is toxic and a vote loser:
“It will certainly alienate support for the Conservative party. Many Conservative supporters have told us that they withheld their votes at the 2015 election because of this issue and will do so again at the next Election if it is included in the manifesto.
We are often asked by Conservative supporters why the grassroots Conservatives aren’t being represented on this issue by the majority of Conservative MPs.”
There are however, increasing numbers of Conservative MPs who have no appetite for repeal and are prepared to protect the ban on hunting foxes, stags, hares with dogs and the cruel sport of hare coursing.
“It is important that the Prime Minister is aware that there is as much support in the Countryside as there is in urban areas for the ban. It is dispiriting to see the Prime Minister supporting a blood sport which is overwhelmingly opposed by the general public.”
We hope that the Conservative party can move on from the divisive debate around fox hunting and focus its efforts on Brexit and opportunities to advance animal welfare such as ending the suffering in long distance live animal exports, introduce CCTV in all slaughterhouses and more .
The party should instead be looking at improving standards for the tens of millions of farm animals by ending cages for hens on industrial farms, banning cramped farrowing crates for pigs and installing CCTV in slaughterhouses. It would be a shame if we have to once again focus on this repeal issue – which is negative and nasty – when we could be putting all our energies into helping to advance farm animal welfare. It’s unnecessary, it is outmoded and we should leave it in the past.
Last year, our Co-Founders launched the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation to help advance farm animal welfare and raise attention of the billions of farm animals on industrial farms around the world. Our Patrons include Sir Roger Gale MP, Sir David Amess MP, Dominic Raab MP and Henry Smith MP- the Chairman of the All-party Group For Animal Welfare in the House of Commons. We urge the Government to build on the progress achieved under the EU for farm animals and seize opportunities to further advance animal welfare.