Fifth anniversary of Parliament Act being invoked to ban hunting for sport

It is five years this week since the Parliament Act was invoked, for only the fourth time since 1949, to allow a ban on hunting with dogs to pass through Parliament.

The move to use the Act in November 2004 allowed the bill banning hunting with dogs to be given Royal Assent and made the use of dogs in hunting foxes, deer and hare for sport to be illegal in England and Wales.

In almost five years since the Hunting Act was passed public support has remained strong for the legislation with recent polling figures showing an overwhelming number of people supporting the law. In fact, 85 per cent of people do not want hare hunting or coursing to be made legal again, 84 per cent think the same of deer hunting and 75 per cent think the Hunting Act should remain to keep fox hunting illegal.

League Chief Executive Douglas Batchelor said: “The Parliament Act allowed a very important piece of animal welfare legislation to be passed. The vast majority of public abhor hunting with dogs for sport and this enabled Parliament to end the cruelty of hunters’ taking packs of dogs into the countryside and allowing them to chase and kill for sport.”

“Support for the Hunting Act has gone from strength to strength over the past five years and repeated polling tells us very few people want to turn the clocks back to cruelty.”

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