The League Against Cruel Sports is calling on the Liberal Democrats to make a commitment to secure and strengthen the fox hunting ban.

It follows the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto today which made no mention of fox hunting, despite the issue continuing to be at the forefront of political debate.

Polling conducted by Ipsos MORI and commissioned by the League at the end of 2017, indicated that 86 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters support the fox hunting ban.

Recent polling, conducted by YouGov and commissioned and released by the League during the 2019 general election, showed a majority of Liberal Democrat supporters supported prison sentences for illegal hunting and tougher hunting laws

The League is urging all political parties to commit to strengthening the Hunting Act by removing loopholes and exemptions that allow hunting with dogs to still take place.

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“It’s disappointing that the Liberal Democrats have not yet made any commitment to both secure the fox hunting ban and strengthen the hunting laws to help end fox hunting once and for all.

“They risk being the only major political party to not comment on the issue of fox hunting despite the public and Liberal Democrats supporters being firmly opposed to this brutal ‘sport’.”

Of those who expressed a view in the Ipsos MORI polling, 71 per cent of Liberal Democrats thought illegal hunting should be punishable by custodial sentences.

Additionally, 82 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters who expressed a view supported the strengthening of the Hunting Act to prevent the killing of foxes by hunts, whether intentionally or otherwise, when they claim to be following trails or trail hunting.

Chris added:

“We’re calling on the Liberal Democrats to get off the fence and become part of the campaign to adopt tougher hunting laws that reflects the views of their own supporters and a general public united against hunting.”

Ends

Notes to editors

More information about our calls to strengthen the Hunting Act is available here.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,639 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th - 30th October 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Separate polling  commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports and carried out independently by Ipsos MORI in 2017 shows that 86 per cent of Liberal Democrat respondents are in favour of keeping the ban on fox hunting. Data is available here.

Trail hunting, which was invented after the fox hunting ban was implemented in 2005, has been widely dismissed as a fraudulent activity that is used as a cover-up for the illegal pursuit of foxes.

Despite hunting being made illegal in 2004, hunting packs still go ‘trail’ hunting, which often results in foxes being ‘accidentally’ killed. There are 191 fox hunts operating in Great Britain today, 14 years after the Hunting Act 2004 was enacted that outlawed the practice. In total, hunts can go out almost 10,700 times a year – and each time a fox’s life is put at risk.

 

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).