Hunting is banned!

Posted on the 1st November 2004

At long last, after years of campaigning by groups opposed to bloodsports, MPs have passed legislation to 'abolish the hunting of wild animals with hounds'.

The House of Lords tried to sabotage the bill which has triggered the use of the Parliament Act to enforce the will of the democratically elected House of Commons. This means that fox, hare, mink and stag hunting and hare coursing have now been added to the list of illegal bloodsports.

Badger, bull and bear baiting, and dog and cock fighting were abolished as long ago as 1835. Badger digging was banned in 1973 and otter hunting became illegal in 1978.

The current foxhunting season that started on 1st November is now well under way. This means that groups of hunters and their followers will be meeting up to spend their leisure time rampaging through the countryside and seeking out foxes to kill for sport. For hundreds of years such people have been following this cruel pastime and inflicting terrible suffering on wild animals – but not for much longer! As of February 2005 such cruelty will be against the law.

With the Hunting Act passed, hunt supporters have pledged to continue their campaign against the ban. The Countryside Alliance will be going to court to challenge it. Lots of hunters have said that they will carry on with their bloodsport, even when it is illegal. Landowning hunters have also threatened to obstruct vital work on railway lines, viaducts, sewerage and the like – these being the same people receive massive public subsidies!

For years it was the hunt saboteurs who were in trouble with the police for trying to save animals. Now it will be the hunters’ turn.

This historic victory shows that campaigning gets results. Please click here to join Animal Aid and support our vital work to end animal cruelty. There is much more to achieve so please help.

Animal Aid’s statement:

Animal Aid is exuberant that a fox hunting ban finally looks set to become a reality, after years of stalling by the Blair Government. It marks a victory for foxes and for their millions of advocates across the country. As the last vestiges of a more brutal age are coming to an end, we have high hopes that other bloodsports will be banned.

The violence evident in both the huntsmen’s sport and this week’s protest is in stark contrast to the tempered demonstrations of animal campaigners. Yet, while animal rights activists are cast as thugs, the huntsmen have been described as gentle country-folk forced to break the law by an unjust government.

Animal Aid would like to thank all of the MPs who trusted their conscience and voted in favour of a ban. There is a lot of cruelty that remains to be abolished, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep and yesterday Parliament took that first step.

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