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Hunting With Dogs Not Humane

19 September 2002

Sunday's Liberty and Livelihood March will do nothing to convince the public that hunting is either humane or necessary, anti-hunting campaigners said today.

Animal welfare campaigners have released a new poll showing that three-quarters (74%) of the public do not believe hunting with dogs is humane. And a similar number (72%) believe hunters should take up drag hunting instead.

The poll will dismay the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance, which hopes its march at the weekend will be portrayed as a massive public display of support for hunting.

Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "The government must listen to the evidence and to the views of its electorate and not be bullied by the tiny minority of hunters.

"However loudly the Countryside Alliance protest, and more extreme hunters threaten to break the law and intimidate people, the clear majority of the public remains firm in its conviction that hunting with dogs is cruel and unnecessary and has no place in modern Britain. This is why hunting with dogs will be banned."

Of 1,002 people surveyed by MORI, 74% expressly disagreed that hunting with dogs is humane and 72% believed that if people want to hunt they should go drag hunting, where an artificial scent is followed instead of a live quarry.

The findings further support the overwhelming case for a ban on hunting with dogs, put forward by expert witnesses at public hearings last week. CPHA, an umbrella group of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA, believes that the only new evidence presented to the DEFRA hearings added to the case against hunting and that a total ban on hunting with dogs must now follow.

Douglas Batchelor said: "The evidence showed quite clearly that hunting is cruel and is essentially a recreational pastime with no utility. This new poll suggests that this view is widely supported by the public, who not only don't swallow the pro-hunt lobby's claims that hunting is humane, but also believe that hunts should switch to the humane sport of drag hunting."