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Repeal of the Hunting Act 2004

Comment 2nd July 2010

The Hunting Act 2004 has no practical purpose. The Chairman of the Government Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs, Lord Burns, told Parliament that there was no evidence that hunting was cruel and the last Government did not even try to measure the impact of the Hunting Act. Wild mammals are still being managed to exactly the same extent as they were before the Hunting Act with no benefit to animal welfare and very possibly an increase of suffering especially where alternative methods are less effective in dealing with sick and injured mammals.

The Better Government Initiative described the unting Act as a 'notorious example of bad Government' and a Crown Court Judge has said that it is "far from simple to inerpret or to apply". Thousands of hours of police time are being wasted trying to enforce an unworkable law whilst hundreds of ordinary people face potential criminal charges every time they attempt to carry out legal hunting activity. The Hunting Act should be repealed and hunting controlled by independent

Why does this matter?

The Hunting Act is both a very bad law and an affront to civil liberties. Its repeal would signal a break from the prejudice and class war of the previous parliament and a new relationship between the Government and the countryside.

Most of all the repeal of the Hunting Act would confirm that Britain is a mature liberal democracy within which the rights of minorities are respected even if their activities are not supported by all. The alternative is Government by opinion poll and the Hunting Act is a classic example of how legislating on the basis of prejudice, rather than evidence and principle, creates bad law.

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