Less Than 10% Of Hunts Face Outright Ban
Over 90% of hunts could potentially be allowed to continue if the Hunting Bill is passed unamended. The shock statistics have been sent to MPs by Campaigning to Protect Hunted Animals (CPHA) ahead of Monday's second reading of the Hunting Bill.
While the ban will effectively ban 27 hare coursing clubs and three deer packs, it could, in principle, allow 201 fox hunts, 80 hare hunts and 23 mink hunts to continue under licence.
Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports and CPHA chairman, said: "Trying to deal with hundreds of hunt licence applications would create a bureaucratic nightmare and meanwhile the hunts - and the cruelty - would be allowed to continue indefinitely until the mess was sorted out.
"The recent public hearings into hunting with dogs proved yet again that the case against hunting is overwhelming on grounds of cruelty, utility and morality. MPs have voted on five separate occasions since 1997 for a complete ban and CPHA will be calling on them to do the same again by amending the Bill when the time comes. The bottom line is that there must be no chase, no kill, and no licensing of cruelty."
Almost 200 MPs*, including 18 parliamentary private secretaries, have indicated their support by signing an Early Day Motion stating that only a total ban on hunting will be acceptable to MPs and the public.
CPHA, an umbrella group of the League Against Cruel Sports, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and RSPCA, believes that for hunting legislation to be acceptable it must meet three criteria:
It must resolve the issue once and for all.
It must ban foxhunting.
All parties must allow their MPs a free vote on this moral issue.
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Notes to editors
* As at 12 noon, Friday, EDM 273 had been signed by 192 MPs. It reads: "That this House notes the publication of a Bill to enable parliament to reach a conclusion on the hunting of wild mammals with dogs; and believes that only a total ban on hunting will be acceptable to this House and the public at large."