Archive for April 25, 2010

Animal welfare manifesto commitments welcomed

The League said it was “greatly encouraged” by commitments in the Labour Party’s “Green Manifesto”, published earlier today.

The Manifesto pledges to maintain the ban on hunting with dogs, ban the use of cages for game birds, and a review of all wildlife crime legislation.

A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports – which has this week taken launched a ‘Fox Tour’ taking a six foot fox on a tour of hunting constituencies – said it was “greatly encouraged” to see such strong commitments to animal welfare. “We just don’t understand why some politicians want to bring back hunting with dogs when over 75% of the public support the ban,” he said. “There have been over 130 convictions under the Hunting Act and there are two cases progressing through the courts now. Today’s commitment in the Labour manifesto is very welcome.”

The League’s campaign has won the celebrity backing of actors including Gemma Atkinson and Tony Robinson.

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The Fox Tour hits the spot

The hunters’ deep annoyance at the Fox Tour is tangible.

It was through tightly gritted teeth that Simon Hart smiled at the camera as we attempted to talk to him about hunting as he arrived at an RSPB event at Trinity College in Carmarthen. In fact, so annoyed was he that he’d been confronted like that, that he left the event later that evening through a back entrance, sending a decoy car out front to try and fool us (they did; we got as far as the car park exit before realising what they were up to). But then Hart’s flunkies at the Countryside Alliance tweeted on Friday that we had been “following the wrong car round [sic] Carmarthen last night”. The spin must be making them dizzy.

In Thursday’s film, from the Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire constituency in Wales, we included a clip in which a member of the Fox Tour team gives his mobile number in a message to a candidate we were trying to speak to. This was calculated, to see if the hunters would start to call – and that’s exactly what they did. We’ve got them all recorded and we’ll video blog them later this week.

Not all the pro-hunters are disliking the films, though. On Saturday, the Conservative candidate for Corby – whom we tried to track down on Monday – tweeted that “our entire office has watched it. It’s fantastic” before going on to say that it was the “funniest video ever”.

The films have had thousands of views on our website and blog, and we have a further eight constituencies to visit. Friday’s film, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, will be online tomorrow morning. And it’s clear that the Fox Tour is having a real impact and generating the kind of coverage of the hunting issue that we need.

It’s certainly not the ‘period of silence’ the blood junkies claimed to be hoping for!

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Image of the Day – 156

Someone should tell this huntsman that he’s supposed to be followed by hounds rather than heifers.

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