9th July 2015
The Government is attempting to seek approval for an amendment to the Hunting Act which will permit a pack of dogs to be used to chase foxes into range of waiting guns for shooting. Their justification? Pest control, of course!
The effect of this amendment, if it is passed, would be to render the Hunting Act virtually impossible to apply and open to abuse. The process by which this change will be made is simple and quick. It has begun this week and comes to a head on Wednesday July 15 in the House Of Commons when it will be voted upon by MPs. If passed, it’ll go straight to the House Of Lords and that will be that.
In a nutshell, this is what we know: pro hunt forces within Government have realised that the number of compassionate MPs is such that they may lose a vote on full repeal of the Hunting Act. So they are using what’s called a Statutory Instrument to seek what is effectively repeal by the back door.
The proposed amendment was discussed in a Commons back room yesterday by the so-called 1922 Committee. ‘Flushing to guns’ with two hounds is currently permitted by the Hunting Act in England and Wales but is unsatisfactory to the hunting fraternity because it fails to satisfy their desire for a prolonged chase (i.e., ‘sport’).
Cameron & Co tried something similar in the spring of 2014 but were scuppered in large part by their LibDem partners. Now, as we all know, the shackles of coalition have been lifted. We do still have many friends in all parties though.
In Scotland, where legislation is different, a pack of hounds may be used for flushing to guns. So their tactic is to bring England and Wales in line with Scotland and snooker the SNP (who as far as we know may still vote on this issue) because opposition to these proposed changes will make them look like hypocrites. However, the fresh intake of SNP MPs have acknowledged that their law is being widely flouted by Scottish hunts and are already committed to properly scrutinising it.
So, we have only seven days to go and the outcome rests entirely in the hands of our elected members.
Our job in this time is to contact our MPs and ask them two things:
- To oppose this attempt to repeal the Hunting Act by the back door.
- Crucially, to attend the Commons on Wednesday July 15 and vote against the amendment.
The hunting fraternity and their politician allies are taking the mick out of the rest of us here. They know full well that their sneaky plan is to scupper the Hunting Act by underhand political means. In doing so, they are making fools out of MPs who buy into this stuff and sticking two fingers up at the rest of us who don’t.
Remember, every single vote counts and is important. Yes, this has been scheduled for the very end of a long week just as MPs are about to go on their summer holidays. But lip service means nothing here, actions (meaning being there and voting) are everything.
Please everyone, sign petitions yes, but for fox sake we must ALL write to and email our MPs, regardless of previously stated intentions or political persuasions. If you do nothing else today, do this!
Find out who your MP is and how to contact them here www.writetothem.com
© Joe Hashman July 9th 2015
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