Animal Aid

HUNTING CONSULTATION - Letter from LAWS

Posted 1 May 2002

Fox killed by the huntAndrew Tyler's reply to Countryside Minister Alun Michael's letter asking for his views on the government's 'consultation' on proposals to change the law on hunting has produced this response from the Labour Animal Welfare Society.

Dear Animal Aid

I have just read the reply by Andrew Tyler to Alun Michael MP. While we agree with most there are a couple of lines which we would say. The Bill to Ban Hunting is in full steam now and although the delay annoyed a lot of people, including us, an important battle was won. Namely, that MPs, after the six months consultation (so around September), can amend any bill the government puts forward - and the MPs will do so, and will include the words for a complete ban.

The government has made a public pledge not to re-amend the Bill after the MPs have done so. The government also pledge to then take whatever wording is in the Bill and move it through the commons up to the Lords. Now we can all guess that the Lords will block it again, and despite the silly game of ping pong it will go back to the commons where it will be promptly sent back. From then on when the Lords reject for a second time, the Parliament Act will then be used and the clock will start and no amount of shouting will change the issue. The government have also publicly pledge to use the Parliament Act - thus leaving them with no option than to do so if the Lords do not listen to reason.

There will be no support of any middle way option, and the MPs we work with are adamant that is the case. Last week the parliamentary party voted for the use of the Parliament Act to be evoked if needed - yet again showing the commitment.

There will be a lot of silly demo's by the Countryside Alliance (BFSS) as they still are. Well they won't make a blind bit of difference - there were many MPs who support a complete ban who could not be in the commons for the vote, who have pledge to vote on the next votes to come forward. And added to the 350 Labour MPs who voted for a complete ban, its a clear indication how Labour MPs and Ministers feel. For the first time there is real movement on the hunting issue.

Please check out some of the articles on our website on the subject (www.labouranimalwelfaresociety.org.uk). If you need any background info on who voted, what area they were from and what party, a full breakdown is also on the site.

All the best

Gary Hills
National Secretary/Web Editor
Labour Animal Welfare Society

PS You may want to take a quick look at an article which was recently published, which sets out our aims on the Labour Party side to see hunting banned and why democracy must come first. It is titled Hunting for Labour's Credibility and can be found on the articles page of our website under the hunting tab.

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