Last hunting season under the ban? Err, no.


Earlier today, a hunter responded to public opinion.

The Countryside Alliance have put out their press release for the start of the traditional hunting season and, true to style, it claims that this “could be the last season under the Hunting Act”.

In the sense that this could be the last Friday before the end of the world, they’re right. Lots of things ‘could’ be. What’s clear from the media interest in the start of this season is that the Countryside Alliance have been successful in spinning a line – mainly to their own members – that repeal of the Hunting Act is “within reach”.

We frequently liken this to the liar who tells the same lie so many times that he begins to believe it himself. The hunters are sticking their fingers in their ears and ignoring the facts as they’re presented to them. They’ve swallowed the Alliance line that bloodsports will be legal again next year.

We’ve published our polling figures on this blog often enough and won’t labour the point. The key issue is that the Alliance’s response to our polling – by leading international pollsters Ipsos-MORI – is always to claim that the answers always depend on asking a skewed question. Their spokesman did it in a radio interview against our Head of Campaigns only this morning. The question asked in our most recent poll was Please tell me whether you think [fox hunting] should or should not be made legal again. Is that skewed? We think not.

The polling figures make it very clear that there is no majority appetite for repeal of the Hunting Act in any part of Britain, in any social group, or amongst supporters of any political party. The hunters, though, tell us that there’s public support for repeal. There simply is not.

Finally, a word of warning for those hunters out there who are following the Countryside Alliance’s final tweet of the week, and who plan to “have fun at opening meets”. If that fun includes terrorising wildlife, be aware. Our Hunt Observers are better equipped and better trained than ever before, and the net is closing in on you.

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