Hunting is not a human right, says Court

In a landmark legal ruling, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Hunting Act does not breach human rights legislation.

The case, brought by the Countryside Alliance and Brian Friend, 70, of Axminster, rested on whether or not the Hunting Act 2004 breached the rights to a private and family life, freedom of association, and protection of property. The court rejected all arguments.

The court rejected arguments that the Hunting Act infringed an individual’s right to a private and family life on the basis that hunting is a public activity and it is not integral to an individual’s identity. The judgment also made clear that the ban on hunting had “not created serious difficulties for earning one’s living”.

Welcoming the ruling, Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports said: “This is a victory for common sense. No-one has the right to chase and kill animals purely for sport. The Hunting Act is a landmark piece of animal welfare legislation and today’s decision sends a clear message to politicians and the hunting community alike that the ban on hunting is here to stay. People gaining twisted pleasure from hunting live animals should be considering their human wrongs rather than their human rights.”

An Ipsos-MORI poll in September found that 75% of the public support the ban on fox hunting, and 84% and 85% support the ban on stag hunting and hare hunting respectively.

With characteristic sour grapes, the Countryside Alliance have responded by stating that:

Thankfully the importance of the Human Rights case has diminished as parliamentarians have come to accept that the ‘moral judgment’ that led to the Act was prejudiced and that laws created on that basis are bound to be unworkable and fail. The European Court of Human Rights concludes that as the Hunting Act was passed by the UK Parliament, then it should be for the UK Parliament to decide on its future. We think that once it has this opportunity the Act it will almost certainly be repealed.

This is quite remarkable, firstly because our own research shows parliamentarians and parliamentary candidates of all parties being firmly in favour of keeping the Act. But more importantly, the second remarkable consideration is that the Countryside Alliance – who brought the case because they thought hunters’ human rights were being infringed – are now saying that human rights aren’t the issue; a twisted logic if ever there was one. It’s rather like arguing that the football match was flawed because you thought you were playing rugby.

Desperate!

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7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    gilesbradshaw said,

    If you actually read the judgements they do say that human rights are infringed but they say the infingement is justified.

    The shooting exemption most certainly infringes my right not to shoot the deer I flush. The Government justify it by saying killing the deer stops the deer being chased.

  2. 2

    gilesbradshaw said,

    Charlie if no one is willing to lift a finger to stop me from flushing out and chasing deer, which they aren’t then that gives me the right to carry on doing so.

    LACS do not monitor me breaking the Hunting Act because the only thing they could actually make me do is to obey it by only using two dogs and then shooting the flushed out deer.

    They don;t actually want me to do that so they allow me to carry on breaking the law.

    It really is perfectly simple.

    One cannot enforce laws that make no sense.

  3. 3

    charlieinskip said,

    Just because no one will stop you breaking the law does not give you the right to break it.

    I can see that the deer having to be shot would be unfortunate however if you want the law to be changed you should use democratic means to change it and not just break it.

  4. 4

    gilesbradshaw said,

    “I can see that the deer having to be shot would be unfortunate”

    it would be highly unfortunate for the deer Charlie!

    It would also ruin what would other wise be a very enjoyable activity for me.

    Exactly in who’s interests is it for these animals to have to die? Seriously I just don’t get it.

  5. 5

    gilesbradshaw said,

    ” No-one has the right to chase and kill animals purely for sport.”

    That’s not what I am asking for. I want the right to flush out chase and not kill deer has a humane alternative to shooting them.

  6. 6

    gilesbradshaw said,

    ” No-one has the right to chase and kill animals purely for sport.”

    That’s not what I am asking for. I want the right to flush out chase and not kill deer has a humane alternative to shooting them.

  7. 7

    […] it comes to the civil liberties argument, the hunters are on an absolute looser as the European Court of Human Rights has affirmed this week. The general public just cannot see the hunters as they would like to be seen, as an oppressed and […]


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