Prime Minister Theresa May has today pledged that there will not a be a vote to repeal the Hunting Act during this Parliament. Reacting to this news, Chris Pitt, Deputy Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“It appears that the Government now accepts that cruel sports should no longer be a part of 21st century society so it’s good to know they won’t try to legalise it again in this Parliament – though they may try again in the next. The Government has recently pledged to recognise animal sentience and introduce tougher sentencing for animal cruelty so it would make no sense if the Hunting Act was to be repealed – hunting is a barbaric practice which still sees British wildlife being torn to pieces by packs of hounds.

Recent polling showed that opposition to hunting in the UK remains at an all-time high of 85 per cent, so it’s clear that this pledge will be popular with the public. Despite what the hunts say, it’s not only the ‘townies’ who oppose blood sports but people in the countryside too, with more than eight out of ten people in rural areas in support of keeping the ban on fox hunting. We hope all MPs now recognise that animal welfare is something which all British people feel very strongly about. We also hope that this isn’t a tactical political move designed to win votes – Theresa May says that she still personally supports fox hunting, so will we be having this discussion again in a couple of years?

“If the Government truly wants to reflect the people’s will on fox hunting, they need to tackle the routine illegal hunting still taking place every day across the country under the cover of ‘trail’ hunting. The Hunting Act needs to be strengthened and the changes should include the introduction of custodial sentences to act as a deterrent. The British people would be horrified if they knew the extent to which the hunts are flouting the hunting ban and the people breaking the law need to be caught and prosecuted by police forces across the UK.”

In separate news, a major new report released today shows that there is a 'significant' risk that hunting hounds are spreading disease to both humans and farm animals.