“If Brexit means Brexit, then the hunting ban should mean a hunting ban“. So said legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes at a Conservative Party conference event hosted by the League Against Cruel Sports.
‘Brexit’, regardless of what you voted in the referendum of June 23rd – it’s probably a word you are sick to death of hearing. Our current PM, Theresa May, has gone from quiet ‘remainer’ to ‘Lady Brexit’ determined that Brexit means Brexit and she will ‘make a success out of it’. And so it puzzles me that she has pledged to hold a free vote on a repeal of the hunting act.
So, if ‘Brexit does mean Brexit’ with a 52% majority, why doesn’t no hunting mean no hunting with a far more significant 84% majority?
Hypocritical Theresa May
As mentioned in the introduction to this post, a massive criticism that has come from May’s support for illegal hunting is the fact that it is completely against public interest – and comes at a time where many feel the issue has already been debated and the outcome decided.
Additionally, many feel that May is being hypocritical towards the 84% of people that are against a repeal of the hunting act – by committing to a free vote despite a huge majority being against it – when she often generalised the entirety of the British population with Brexit by saying the British ‘people have spoken’, completely isolating areas such as Scotland – where 62% of people voted to remain.
She has even sparked conversions of her own voters, with one user on our Facebook page messaging me to say:
“I’ve voted May [Conservative] since I could vote.. 19 years on and they won’t be getting my vote this time round – sickening to such a clear backstabbing of her own voters and our interests – no to fox hunting!”
For those wondering – The Conservative Against Fox Hunting group state that ‘two-thirds of Conservative supporters’ are against a return to hunting.
Public Opinion On Bloodsports
Whilst it may seem like foxes get all the attention, the public actually feel stronger about deer (stag) and hare coursing & hunting – here are the main findings from the Ipsos MORI independent study 2016 commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports on peoples opinions of acts that are currently illegal under the 2004 hunting ban:
- 84% think that fox hunting with dogs should stay banned.
- 88% think deer hunting should stay banned.
- 91% think hare hunting and coursing think should stay banned.
- 94% think badger baiting should stay banned.
- 98% think dog fighting should remain banned.
In addition to this, the study found that 65% of those interviewed would view an election candidate more favourably if they supported keeping hunting with dogs illegal compared with just 9% who would view a candidate more favourably if they supported making hunting with dogs legal again.
It’s worth noting that study also found that constituencies of key MP’s were in favour of keeping the ban on fox hunting including:
South Northamptonshire – This is Andrea Leadsom’s constituency, she is in favour of a repeal but her constituents do not reflect these views with 81% in favour of keeping the ban.
Maidenhead – Theresa May, the one who has reopened this debate is doing so against her constituents wills, with 80% in favour of keeping the ban.
Witney – David Cameron’s former constituency – 81% of people here are in favour of keeping the ban.
Islington North – This is Jeremy Corybns’ constituency, Jeremy has been against animal cruelty of any kind for a long time – this is reflected in his constituents views with 88% in favour of keeping the ban.
How Can I Make Sure The Hunting Act Isn’t Repealed?
For those thinking it’s too late to prevent a free vote from happening, don’t forget about David Cameron’s failed attempts to a hold a repeal back in 2015 – the main reasons for this were, MP disapproval and SNP’s commitment to vote AGAINST a repeal, both of which were caused by mass public disapproval.
If a repeal does go ahead, here’s what you can do to make sure it goes in favour of keeping the ban:
- Write to your MP and local candidates about your thoughts on a return to hunting, if you know your MP or candidate is pro hunt – try to reach out to them with a pragmatic approach, citing that if they commit to a repeal you will not be voting for them.
- Get involved on Facebook, and encourage your friends and family that care about animals to do the same – make a noise that can’t be ignored.
- Support your local hunt saboteur group – these are the people that are out protecting wildlife day in day out.
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