Outrage at Theresa May’s plans to reintroduce foxhunting

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Cruel and outdated foxhunting should have no place in 21st century Britain say campaigners 

10th May 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Animal welfare groups have reacted with outrage after the prime minister announced her desire to reverse legislation banning fox hunting.

It comes as the Scottish Government is planning on strengthening the same legislation in Scotland while campaigners say Scots MPs could block any move in the UK parliament to reintroduce it.  

Labour outlawed hunting foxes with dogs across the UK in 2004 but Theresa May announced she is planning to take free vote in parliament on the issue.

In 2000, the UK government-commissioned Burns Report stated that fox hunting “seriously compromises” the welfare of the hunted animal.

Scotland introduced separate legislation banning hunting with dogs in 2002, a move that was heralded as world leading in terms of animal rights.

During a visit to a factory in Leeds, the Prime Minister said: “This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against.

“As it happens, personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting, and we maintain our commitment, we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party, to allow a free vote.

“It would allow parliament the opportunity to take the decision on this.”

Harry Huyton, doirector of Animal welfare charity OneKind said he was “appalled” by the move.

“The bans were introduced in Holyrood and then Westminster following a lengthy and comprehensive process,” he said.

“Nothing has changed since then. Fox hunting remains cruel, outdated and should have no place in any part of 21st century Britain.”

“This comes at a time when the Scottish Government is reviewing the legislation that applies north of the Border, with a view to strengthening it. This must not be undermined by confusion about the future of hunting in England.

“It’s also important to remember that Scottish MPs will have a vote at Westminster on any proposal to weaken or repeal the Hunting Act.

“OneKind are therefore seeking a commitment from all candidates that they will oppose such a move.  Cruelty is cruelty, no matter where it takes place in the UK.”

May’s statement comes on the back of revelations about plans by pro-hunting groups to get a commitment to repeal the Hunting Act into the Conservative Party manifesto.

According to a leaked email from Lord Mancroft to hunt masters, it is thought that a large Conservative majority will allow safe passage of a repeal or significant changes to weaken the Act.