The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed the move by the Labour Party to tackle fox hunting by strengthening the Hunting Act and boosting funding to allow police to successfully prosecute the perpetrators of wildlife crime. The League is urging other political parties to follow suit.

Martin Sims is a former head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit and now director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports.

He said: “We welcome the bold plans announced by the Labour Party to tackle wildlife crime and fox hunting by strengthening the Hunting Act, making it the effective deterrent it should always have been, and committing extra funding to allow police to successfully prosecute the perpetrators.

“I urge other parties to stand united against hunting, to pledge to finally stop the barbaric chasing and killing of foxes with packs of hounds that still takes place today, 14 years after the fox hunting ban came into force.”

On recklessness:

“The hunts are deceiving the public about their activities by claiming they are following artificial trails or trail hunting, and the proposed introduction of a recklessness clause will be an effective mechanism for tackling this.”

On loopholes in general:

“We support the moves to close down the loopholes and remove the exemptions that the fox and deer hunts are currently exploiting to kill British wildlife.”

On custodial sentences:

Introducing custodial sentences for fox hunting would bring it in line with other animal welfare crimes, and will serve to be a more effective deterrent to those who insist on continuing to kill animals for ‘sport’.”

The League has commissioned polling by YouGov which shows the majority of British people want tougher fox hunting laws and the introduction of prison sentences for those caught hunting illegally.

  • 74 per cent of respondents who expressed a view support prison sentences for illegal hunting.
  • 79 per cent of respondents who expressed a view think the Hunting Act should be amended to ensure foxes are not killed by hunts, whether intentionally or otherwise.

Ends

 

Notes to editors

The link to the full polling tables is here: https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/0566x4yq8y/LACS_FoxHunting_191030_w2.pdf

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+).

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).