What The General Election 2017 Results Mean For Fox Hunting

The results are finally in and it would appear we are heading for a Conservative government with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party – certainly not what Theresa was hoping for when she called the snap election.

Throughout the election we’ve had our ear to the ground from when Theresa May first showed her support for a return to hunting, through till a free vote on a repeal was included in the Conservative manifesto despite increasing public opposition. 

Many commentators have put her support for hunting down as one of the key flaws in her campaign. Find out the results in full and what they mean for the hunting act.

The Result Of The June 2017 GE

With a majority of 326 needed to form a government, the Conservatives fell short – losing 13 seats for a total of 318 seats. The SNP also took heavy blows, losing 21 seats bringing their total down to 35 – they are still the largest party in Scotland.

The biggest surprise of the night came from the underplayed and underestimated Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn who received almost 13 million votes to take 262 seats.

amount of mps in each party

(source)

However, Theresa May has indicated they will be forming their majority with support from the Democratic Unionist Party who have 10 seats, bringing the number up to 328, 2 more than is needed to take a majority.

This move has been widely criticised by the public due to the DUP’s controversial views on issues such as abortion and same sex marriage. A petition against the DUP / Conservative government has already reached 300,000 signature – opposition leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron have also made calls for her to stand down as PM.

Who Are The DUP?

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) are a right wing political party standing in Northern Ireland – they are called ‘Unionist’ because they support Northern Ireland staying in the UK as opposed to a part of the Republic Of Ireland.

You may have seen several news stories shared on Facebook as to their controversial views including:

  • Opposition To Same Sex Marriage – They disagree with same-sex marriage and have always worked to stop it being made legal in Northern Ireland. Theresa May has already confirmed to openly gay Conservative politician Ruth Davidson that the DUP deal will not affect LGBTQ rights.
  • Opposition To Abortion – The DUP have strongly opposed abortion rights in Northern Ireland. This has led to women having to travel abroad or rely on pills bought online for abortions.
  • Climate Change Denial – This is not a party wide stance, however a former environment minister for the party stated that climate change was a con.
  • Party Leader – The party leader is Arlene Foster, who came to premise in 2012 after being responsible for overseeing the failed ‘cash for ash’ scheme which cost the Irish tax payer an estimated £500 million.

Fox hunting is legal in Northern Ireland, whilst there have been no calls by the DUP to ban it, they played a vital role in increasing maximum sentencing for animal abuse in Northern Ireland to 5 years citing:

“Any act of cruelty towards an animal should be punished. Those responsible for extreme cases of animal cruelty should go to prison.”

Will The Free Vote On A Repeal Still Happen?

This depends on your opinion, on one hand it was included in the manifesto meaning we should expect the issue to arise in the future of this Conservative government. However, with the shock election results, the public’s fierce opposition on the matter and calls for Theresa May to resign, we can expect this issue to be closed for the time being.

On the other hand, many feel that this issue is now ‘done’. With Labour making ground in Parliament; a party that are almost wholly are against a return to hunting and being led by Jeremy Corbyn, a long time animal welfare campaigner, should a free vote be held, the chances of a repeal are even more unlikely than before.

In our opinion, Theresa May would be unwise to reignite this issue and should it go to a free vote, it would almost certainly result in a vote FOR keeping the hunting act.

Strengthening The Hunting Act 

Despite the ban, hunts still regularly get away with illegal hunting. We must not forget about this issue and should begin campaigning for a strengthening of the 2004 hunting act – something that is completely achievable with public support, the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting and the new larger labour presence in parliament.

What Can I Do To Help?

  • Contact your mp to find out their views on a return to bloodsports,encourage them to commit to a strengthening of the hunting act.
  • Support your local hunt saboteurs group – regardless of ban or no ban they will still be out protecting wildlife from hunting.
  • Get involved on social media – support anti-hunt groups like us that are creating a conversation and pushing for an end to all illegal hunting.

As always, your thoughts on this post are welcome – get in touch with us on Facebook or fill out a contact form below and we’ll get back to you.

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