The hunting ban as it is objectionable, unworkeable, an attack on a rural way of life that is already suffering in a number of ways and a waste of time and money. It should be repealed on these grounds alone. But my idea goes further. To future-proof hunting, and to devolve decision-making to the local level – which is a key objective of this coalition government – put in place some measures that will remove some aspects of hunting that are so emotive and, then make the whole issue the responsiblity of local councils. This gives more relevance to such councils in the day-to-day aspects of peoples' lives.
An ill-thought out and unworkeable law that is highly divisive, damages the rural economy and wastes police time. Widely ignored in any case. Any law which can be got round so easily is, in itselft, a bad law – irrespective of the 'moral' arguments one way or the other. BUT – simply repealing the law won't make the issue go away. The matter is too emotional and it will simply resurface again at a later date. To prevent this, the repeal should be accompanied by a new law (which, I know, is hardly the point of this exercise) that outlaws some of the less acceptable practices of hunting (specifically, blocking earths and flushing foxes out with terriers – both practices contradicting the argument in favour of hunting that it gives foxes a sporting chance). This will make the practice more palatable – to some at least (although not the die-hard antis). And – having done this – pass the matter over to local councils to licence hunts, or not. Councils in rural areas are best -placed to assess the impact of hunting on the local economy, police resources etc – not the national government.