0201A decade since it came into force, the ban on hunting foxes with dogs has come under fresh scrutiny, from both shooting organisations and the mainstream media.

The Countryside Alliance called it an “illogical, badly drafted and unfair law” that should be consigned to history.

Campaigns director Tim Bonner referred to the statistic that 97 per cent of cases brought under the Act did not involve a registered hunt.

He said: “Anti-hunt groups spent around £30 million to put the Hunting Act on the Statute Book– since then they have not spent a penny to show the impact it has had on animal welfare. This is because there has been no improvement in welfare – just as many foxes are being killed as were before the ban.

“The Hunting Act has nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with class politics and prejudice which is why the law is completely unworkable.”

Mainstream media sources as diverse as the Telegraph, the Guardian and the BBC’s Countryfile all covered the anniversary of the ban, The Telegraph reported that the Conservative party would try to life the ban if it won May’s general election (something that was also a campaign promise in 2010), with a manifesto set to label the ban “wrong-headed”.

Tory MP and former Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart was quoted as saying: “All the indications are that a commitment will be just as robust as it always has been and there is no reason to believe any changes are intended or planned.”


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