‘Keeping Cruelty History must be the government’s New Year’s resolution’

Posted on January 11, 2013

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Today (11th January), an item was posted on the web-site of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) titled ‘Keeping Cruelty History must be the government’s New Year’s resolution’.

‘… Last year ended with hunting, and the League’s campaign to protect the Hunting Act, dominating the news. From the Heythrop Hunt prosecution just before Christmas, to the announcement on Boxing Day by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson, in which he appeared to rule out holding a vote on repeal of the Act in 2013, this contentious issue was never far from the headlines.

As MPs return to Westminster following the festive break, hunting was also on the agenda at the first Prime Minister’s Question Time of the year. David Cameron was asked by Labour MP, John Spellar, why he was still intending to repeal the Act when so many of the public are opposed to a return to cruelty. The Prime Minister responded by saying “The only red pests I pursue these days are in the House”.

The League doesn’t agree with Mr Cameron’s assertion that foxes are pests, but we do welcome the news that a vote on repeal appears to be off the Government’s agenda for the moment. However, as the League’s Chief Executive, Joe Duckworth, pointed out, this is only because the Government realised it would lose such a vote, rather than any major change of heart on the issue.  We believe from our intelligence that a majority of MPs (including a significant minority of Conservative MPs) would oppose a repeal of the Act, reflecting the views of their constituents. Our most recent polling (published on Boxing Day) shows that nearly 80 per cent of people in England and Wales are still against fox hunting being reintroduced.

Rather cynically, Mr Paterson remarked that Members of Parliament who oppose repealing the Act would “need to be worked on”. The League doesn’t believe politicians need to be “worked on” – they just need to listen to public opinion, and we will be writing to each MP with a New Year’s message to remind them of the strong public opposition to cruelty. We will also build on the support and achievements from the past year and ensure that our voice is heard throughout the corridors of power in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Europe. We must never be complacent, and we must remember that the Government’s policy is still to hold a vote on repeal within the lifetime of this Parliament. We will be ready when (and if) that vote takes place.

New Year is traditionally a time when resolutions are made and broken. The Government appears to have resolved to keep the Hunting Act for this year at least. It is one resolution that we are determined to make sure it sticks to …’

Read the item at www.league.org.uk/blogpost/764/Keeping-Cruelty-History-must-be-the-Government-s-New-Year-s-resolution-

Please support the League Against Cruel Sports and all their campaigns.

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