House of Commons: ‘Chris Williamson leads debate on hunt violence’

Posted on February 20, 2013

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Today (20th February), an item was posted on the web-site of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) titled ‘Chris Williamson leads debate on hunt violence’.

‘… Last week Chris Williamson, Member of Parliament for Derby North and a trustee of the League, held an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons on policing violence at hunts. You can watch the debate at http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-commons-21414472

During the debate, Chris expressed his shock at the number of examples of hunt related violence and intimidation he had uncovered and listed some powerful cases that have blighted the lives of people living in the countryside. He also raised some important evidence on how the some police forces have turned a blind eye to allegations of violence and intimidation from hunt monitors citing the case of a hunt monitor who’d been attacked by five armed men from the Southdown and Eridge fox hunt, where the East Sussex police refused to even visit the hunt meet to identify the suspects.

Chris also pointed out that hunt related violence is often linked with other types of anti-social behaviour, in particular, “Hunt Havoc”, which often results in hunt hounds and horses trespassing onto roads, private land and even train lines. This causes danger to people, livestock and domestic pets. He also cited some cases where innocent members of the public had been abused physically and verbally by some members of a hunt.

Chris also raised concerns that elements of the hunting fraternity appear to have taken the Government’s criticisms of the Hunting Act as tacit approval to break the law. It is vital that police ensure the Act is upheld, not only to tackle the type of anti social behaviour raised in the debate, but also because we know from our own evidence that hunt related crime is often linked with other types of criminal activity such as theft, trespass and drug trafficking. Chris has called on the Government to issue guidance to Chief Constables across the country to ensure that the Hunting Act is upheld and given equal priority alongside other criminal acts. The League is in contact with the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioners on the same matter.

The issues raised in the Adjournment Debate make the campaign to protect the Hunting Act all the more crucial. The League’s own Keep Cruelty History campaign highlights some of the shocking cruelty which took place prior to the Act being passed in 2004, including an example of the type of violence raised in Chris’s speech.

We have produced a hard hitting video to commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Hunting Act coming into force. Watch the video at http://vimeo.com/59663521 and then ask your Member of Parliament to sign our pledge to ensure that hunting, and the related violence and cruelty that goes with it, stays history …’

Read the item at www.league.org.uk/blogpost/772/Chris-Williamson-leads-debate-on-hunt-violence

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

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