It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, but there were many of us hoping that Theresa May would pull a U-Turn on her embarrassing pledge to hold a free vote for a repeal on the hunting act. As we have stated before – a return to fox hunting is extremely unlikely.
In this blog we’ll cover what was said, why Theresa May is wrong to hold a free vote and why a free vote could result in a strengthening of the hunting act.
What Did The Conservative Manifesto Say?
We knew that Theresa supported fox hunting – but despite the recent public, tabloid and opposition backlash – it has been included in the Conservative manifesto, citing:
“We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act,”
The League Against Cruel Sports said there was:
“no justification for attacking a law that has helped stop cruelty to so many animals”.
Eduardo Gonçalves, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said:
“If the Hunting Act is repealed, weakened or replaced by a weaker law, then the number of animals being helped would be zero.”
“That’s the stark reality. If people and our election candidates, of all parties, genuinely care about animal welfare then we ask them not to be bamboozled by those who want to hunt animals for fun and are desperately trying to justify it.”
Why Theresa May Is Wrong To Commit To A Repeal
There are a number of reasons Theresa May has been branded wrong for committing to a repeal of the hunting act including:
- There are currently bigger things for her as the PM to worry about than a return to a currently illegal blood sport – Brexit, Homelessness, Social Welfare etc.
- Public approval is completely against her (84% do not want to see a return to hunting with dogs).
- David Cameron was wholly unsuccessful throughout his campaign to repeal fox hunting.
- She is completely isolating the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting group who are members of her own party.
- From a neutral political view it’s also a very silly move from her, and is completely putting the ‘needs of the few, before the needs of the many’. Something which I am sure Jeremy Corbyn will win more votes because of.
There May Be A Benefit To The Free Vote
Whilst we are disappointed that a free vote is being held in the first place, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Along with the mass disapproval from the public, should there be a landslide vote in favour of keeping the ban – it could be the start of a strengthening of the hunting ban. If there were a strengthening, we would expect:
- Increased sentencing and fines for those caught hunting illegally
- A closing of the loophole that allows hunts to hunt with a bird of prey
- Increased funding for policing in rural areas
- A rework of the flawled ‘Gamekeepers exemption’
How Can I Prevent A Return To Bloodsports?
Your power lies within your voice and your vote, please don’t forget to register to vote by Monday 22nd May – it only takes 5 minutes. If you feel passionately about the welfare of animals targeted by hunting – let you current MP and potential candidates know. Even those that are pro hunt may change there voting commitment if they think supporting hunting would lose them their seat.
Don’t forget to get involved on Facebook, spread the word with your friends and family and urge them to stand up to this repeal and commit to a complete ban on bloodsports. Drop us a line in the contact form below to let us know your thoughts 🙂