Cameron defeated on hunting ban!

Posted on the 15th July 2015

David Cameron had intended that today – Wednesday 15 July – he would finally be able to dismember the 2004 Hunting Act and give free rein to his bloodsports chums to hound and kill wild mammals for the sheer pleasure of it. The parliamentary route he chose was a devious one. Instead of having the long-promised free vote on repeal, he used a Statutory Instrument through which he hoped to introduce a number of amendments to the 2004 Act. These would have allowed whole packs of dogs to pursue foxes, hares and deer, including those who are sick. Another amendment would make it easier for terriermen to set their dogs on foxes underground.

As soon as Cameron’s intentions became known, Animal Aid joined with numerous animal protection groups, including those in Scotland, in mobilising compassionate people. They, in turn, made it clear to their parliamentary representatives that the hunting ban has to stay. It was political lobbying and citizen action at its best. This effort culminated in a magnificent demo outside Parliament, with the gathering addressed by, among others, Brian May.

As well as the animal protection lobby, Cameron was undone by the Scottish National Party, who the Prime Minister sought to politically neutralise. But they would have none of it. Its Parliamentary Group Leader, Angus Robertson, was another of the speakers at Tuesday’s rally. He received a rousing reception and delivered a strong message of support.

Even with his Commons majority, David Cameron has discovered that people and their representative bodies will have their say. We don’t know what kind of political sleight of hand (maybe via deployment of the English Votes for English Laws draft legislation) may be tried in the future to legitimise hunting in all its raw and bloody aspects but Animal Aid, our supporters, and like-minded people across the country will be equal to the challenge.

Andrew Tyler
Director, Animal Aid

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