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14th July 2015

Our Roar Of Disapproval #keeptheban

Team Fox gathers outside Parlaiment to roar disapproval at attempted creeping repeal of the Hunting Act 2004 Team Fox gathers outside Parlaiment to roar disapproval at attempted creeping repeal of the Hunting Act 2004

Parliamentary plans to weaken the Hunting Act have been seen off – for now. Our collective roar of disapproval has been heard, loud and clear.

The means by which crippling amendments to the Hunting Act were intended to be slipped through is called a Statutory Instrument (SIs), which allows for quick and easy alterations to existing legislation. The SIs was was pulled today, twenty-four hours before MPs were due to vote, and pulled without a shadow of doubt because an irresistible coalition was built which consisted of MPs from across political parties and the Home Nations who were committed to defeating bloodsports enthusiasts on this issue.

In the first instance, respect and thanks to all those MPs and those who lobbied them; everybody who wrote, talked, tweeted, retweeted, shared, liked, favourited, pinned, posted, demonstrated, reported, advertised, sang, shouted and dreamed about defeating these amendments and the dark forces behind them. If those dark forces within and outside of Parliament thought they could undermine the Hunting Act (and democracy) quietly, unnoticed and with little resistance, they were spectacularly wrong.

Arguably, after our monumental efforts we would be in a better position if there had been a 90-minute debate then vote. Everything indicated that we would have won handsomely. The bloodsports lobby know this too, so we shouldn’t be surprised that they lost their nerve and decided to move the goalposts.

To most decent-minded folk it might seem strange that there are some people and associations whose sole mission in life seems to be to make hunting with hounds legal again, but sadly this is the case. What happens next is uncertain. Doubtless they will dust themselves down, regroup, plot and try another way.

So, foxy lover, be ready for anything. Stay informed and keen. Hounds Off, and others, will keep you fully up to speed via mail-outs, e-alerts or (in our case) blogs and social media. But for a moment, as you rest and take stock, reflect on the fact that within the space of seven days the latest bloodthirsty intentions of hunters were scuppered. Through wholly peaceful means, we have sent dark forces into retreat.

Hounds Off is proud to be part of Team Fox, which is itself a coalition of animal welfare organisations from across the political and campaigning spectrum who are united in their wish to see the Hunting Act reinforced not repealed. These organisations comprise the staff, volunteers, members and supporters who make impossible things possible. That’s what Team Fox is –  people like you and me; decent, compassionate individuals who have the collective energy to move mountains.

© Joe Hashman

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  • Jacqui Chrismas + Alan Johnson says:
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Well done all. So far so good. They will try again, but this time we will be better prepared. We have more time to educate everyone and especially the press that these changes were never intended to bring English/Welsh law into line with Scots law. The SI contained sneaky changes with far-reaching effects. One “little” change is the addition of just two words: “or diseased” in paragraph 8 of the schedule of exempted (I.e. lawful) hunting entitled “Rescue of a wild mammal”. As sought to be amended this provision would have allowed a hunter having a reasonable belief that a fox might be diseased to rescue it and relieve its suffering? Sounds harmless, huh? Trouble is that this could be done by chasing the fox with a pack of hounds. And as there is no definition of “diseased”, a hunt caught in the act of killing a fox would be able to say they thought the fox might have mange and needed to be relieved of its suffering by being ripped to shreds – “I was doing it a favour”. That’s not the law in Scotland. There any fox flushed out has to be shot, not chased to exhaustion for sport. It must never be the law in England & Wales either. Get the message out there everyone.

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    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted August 01, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Good points well made Jacqui & Alan. The devil is in the details, as so often is the case. Thanks for sharing.

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