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Petition to retain the legislation banning fox hunting
In January 2010, I posted a page on this website on the subject of fox hunting.
background to the page was that there had to be a General Election in the
At the time of posting the page, the opinion polls were indicating the likelihood of a change in Government and the replacement of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister by David Cameron.
The last Labour Government had introduced the Hunting Act 2004, a copy of which may be found on the Office of Public Sector Information’s website at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2004/ukpga_20040037_en_1. One of the practices that this legislation outlawed was fox hunting.
Before the Act was introduced, one of the traditional ways of hunting foxes was by a Hunt. The term Hunt refers to an organisation which owns horses and a pack of hounds bred for hunting, stables and kennels in which to house them and staff to look after them. The members of the Hunt would go out on horseback accompanied by the hounds. When the hounds picked up the scent of a fox, they would follow it. If they found the fox, a chase could take place for several miles. If the fox tired quicker than the hounds, the hounds would tear the fox apart while it was still alive when they caught up with it. Sometimes a fox would take refuge in a hole in the ground, in which case fox terriers might be sent underground to chase the fox out, at which point it would usually be shot.
The cruelty in the practice lay in the fox having to run for its life and then to be torn apart whilst still alive.
David Cameron had stated publicly that should he win the 2010 General Election he would allow a free vote in the House of Commons over whether the current legislation should be amended to allow fox hunting again. A significant number of people in the Conservative Party would like the ban on fox hunting to be rescinded. Whilst there is no guarantee that a free vote would result in a change of legislation, there must be a possibility that this could happen.
Opponents of fox hunting argue that there are more humane ways of culling foxes in areas where the local fox population presents a problem for farmers and livestock.
At the date of updating this page, August 2012, David Cameron did not win the last General Election so had to form the coalition Government with the Liberal Democrats. Although no vote has yet taken place, there is still the intention that the current Government will allow a free vote in Parliament on the matter of fox hunting. The Government will only have to give two working weeks’ notice of the intention to hold a free vote.
Towards the end of 2009, Hilary Benn, who at that time was the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was bitterly opposed to any suggestion that fox hunting could be allowed again in Britain and took the lead in the fight to mobilise public opinion by setting up a website which allows people to sign an online petition against the reintroduction of fox hunting. The petition still has an online presence which will become important when the Government allows the free vote on fox hunting. If readers of this page have empathy with what he is trying to do, please take the time to sign the petition at http://www.campaignengineroom.org.uk/back-the-ban.
I have put this page up on my website as I do not believe that the humans have any right to inflict unnecessary suffering upon animals and that David Cameron’s stance on this issue is inappropriate.
Original date of posting : 15th January 2010
Updated : 29th August 2012