Election ‘May’ be crucial for Hunting Act
As soon as Theresa May stepped out onto Downing Street, and announced that the country would go to the polls on June 8th, it was battle stations not just for political parties, but for charities across the country.
A general election is a unique opportunity for organisations like the League to demonstrate just how vital animal welfare is to the British public. And they are, of course, also a chance for the public to decide just what kind of country they wish to see over the next five years.
So the stakes are high for every election.
But it’s no exaggeration to say that this is the most significant election ever for the Hunting Act.
For the first time, we face the threat of a pro-repeal majority. For decades, received wisdom said that Labour supported a ban on hunting, the Conservatives opposed it, and the Liberal Democrats were split.
But . We know, for example, that a majority of all parties’ voters support the ban on hunting. We know that 72% of Conservative voters support it. 87% of Liberal Democrat voters. 90% of Labour voters.
We also know that 53% of Conservative voters are more favourable towards a candidate who supports the ban on hunting. That is compared to just 11% who would view an opponent of the hunting ban more favourably.
When the Government tried to amend the Hunting Act in 2015, it was not – as the hunt lobby like to claim – the SNP who blocked the move. It was thanks to opposition from Conservative MPs that the measure failed.
So a Conservative majority does not have to mean a pro-hunt majority.
But to ensure the survival of the Hunting Act, we need all candidates to understand just how popular the ban on hunting is. And that’s where you come in.
In 2015, we had five years to prepare for the last election. This time around, we have six weeks until polling day.
So we need your help. We need you to join our campaign. We need candidates to know just how vital animal protection is to the public.
This is not just about the Hunting Act. In the last few months, we built up real momentum towards increasing sentencing for animal cruelty offences to five years. We can’t let that slip now. We have also heard support from MPs of all parties, and from the Commons Environment Committee, for a register of animal abusers.
Anyone standing for election should be left in no doubt that the public want to see stronger protection for all animals.
We have six weeks to show these candidates how much Britain values animal welfare.
Let’s get to work.