The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) believes that if a vote to repeal the Hunting Act 2004 was held in Parliament tomorrow it would fail. However the organisation is warning the vote ‘would be very close’ and has stepped up its Keep Cruelty History campaign in an aim to get electors to lobby their MPs.
It was after more than 700 hours of parliamentary debate that the activity of hunting wild animals for sport became illegal under the Act on 18 February 2005. Labour was forced to use the Parliament Act after the House of Lords rejected the legislation.
Countryside Alliance (CA) campaigners claimed that the new law would lead to massive rural job losses and was unworkable. Seven years on and with only one hunt forced to close the impact on jobs has been minimal and the number of successful prosecutions, including in May three members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt, has risen above 200.
LACS have acted after Agriculture Minister Jim Paice claimed on a specially arranged visit to a hunt kennels in Peterborough that the Act “simply doesn’t work” and David Cameron penned an article in the CA’s quarterly magazine re-affirming his opposition to the hunting ban and promising ‘a free vote among all MPs on repeal in this parliament.’
This, of course, may turn out to be a bluff. The Government is already seen by many as being ‘out of touch’ and with opinion polls regularly showing a massive majority in favour of keeping the hunting act then the Tories may be risking backing a vote loser as the next election gets closer. Nevertheless the LACS campaign is surely worth backing and details can be found on their site at www.league.org.uk