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Celebrating 9 years of hunt ban

Friday, February 14, 2014

It is 20 years since the RSPCA, the League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) began campaigning together for an end to hunting with hounds. The campaign was successful with the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004, and to mark this an event was held at the House of Commons attended by Meg Munn MP.

 The Hunting Act prohibited the hunting of wild mammals, including foxes, deer, hares and mink with dogs, something which the vast majority of the British public opposed and continue to oppose. The charities continue to urge MPs to stand firm and protect animal welfare as we celebrate the success of the Hunting Act.

The latest poll carried out by Ipsos MORI at the end of 2013 shows that 80% of people in Great Britain think that fox hunting should remain illegal and 87% think that hare hunting and coursing should also remain illegal.

Since the Act came into force it has quickly established itself as the most successful piece of wild animal legislation ever passed. On average one person every week is prosecuted under its provisions. Of these over two-thirds are found guilty, rendering the arguments that the ban is not enforceable, redundant.

Meg commented:

“I am proud to have helped the Hunting Act 2004 become law. The protection to it gives to wild animals is important and I shall oppose all attempts to overturn it.”

David Bowles, RSPCA head of public affairs, said:

 “In common with the majority of the British people, we believe that any repeal of the Hunting Act would be a backward step for a civilized society. 

“Despite scare stories by pro-hunting lobbyists who wanted to continue this barbaric sport, the ban did not affect countryside employment, cause a growth in the fox population, nor result in the loss of horses or hounds.  In fact, many hunts still meet but use artificial scents to trail hunt something which doesn’t result in the needless deaths of wild animals and is something we welcome.”

Rachel Newman, Deputy Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

 “After 80 years of tireless campaigning it was a landmark moment for animal welfare when the Hunting Act came into force. Nine years later, polling shows the majority of MP’s and the general public, rural and urban don’t want to see a return to hunting for sport. Hunters should concede defeat, give up their forlorn hope of repeal and adapt to this new world.”

Robbie Marsland, Director IFAW UK said:

“Encouraging a pack of hounds to chase and tear apart a mammal was made illegal nine years ago.  IFAW is proud to have been an important part of this vital campaign. We continue to monitor the successful enforcement of this law and we look forward to the rest of the 21st Century being free from this barbaric, so called, sport.”

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