Geoffrey Clifton-Brown shows support for fox huntingWe recently speculated that the plans for a repeal would either be ditched completely, or put to bed for the time being, and now an ex Tory chairman Grant Shapps has stated plans for a return ‘stand absolutely no chance’.

Many feel Theresa shot herself in the foot with her pledge to bring back hunting with dogs; which was identified as one of the causes of her failed campaign by senior Tory MPs amongst other unpopular promises – despite this, the BBC questioned whether or not hunting was an election issue.

Find out more in this blog posts, as well as an introduction to our new environment secretary – Michael Gove.

Following the shock general election results – the Conservatives were left without enough MPs to form a government, leading to them calling for support from the controversial DUP.

There have been reports since then that Theresa has made plans to ‘slim down’ her manifesto, including the scrapping of the repeal of the hunting act, triple lock on pensions and the winter fuel allowance – these have not yet been widely reported and are thus to be confirmed.

In addition to these reports, an ex Tory chairman Grant Shapps said that there is ‘absolutely no chance# of a free vote now being held

Speaking to BBC Daily Politics about unpopular parts of the manifesto that are likely to be axed he stated:

“It’s absolute insanity to start talking about passing and changing fox hunting laws, what an Earth was that about? “I thought a mistake had been made, perhaps an off-the-cuff comment.

“Then I read the manifesto and discovered not only were planning to allow a free vote, but it was going to be a government bill and on government time.” “This now stands absolutely no chance. It’s a silly idea.”

Theresa May has faced mass backlash since her commitment to a return to fox hunting, from both MPs, the press and the general public – with protesters taking to the streets in one of the biggest animal welfare marches of our time.

For this reason, it is no surprise that former and present members of her own party are now turning the finger on the ‘less important’ issues that caused the most controversy.

New Environmental Secretary – Michael Gove 

In a surprising comeback to politics after being sacked by Theresa May, former education secretary Michael Gove was appointed the role of environmental secretary, replacing former head of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DEFRA) Andrea Leadsom, who has now taken on the role of leader of the house of commons.

There has already been backlash from activists and the general public about this, due to his poor voting record on environmental issues and his failed commitment as education secretary to try and have climate change removed from the national curriculum.

In addition to this, in 2013 Mr Gove voted in favour of culling badgers in an effort to control bovine tuberculosis.

Michael Gove  On Fox Hunting

Michael Gove supports lifting the ban on fox hunting,

Whilst this may sound surprising for an environmental minister – his predecessor Andrea Leadsom also supported a lifting on the ban saying that:

“I would absolutely commit to holding a vote to repeal the hunting ban. It has not proven to be in the interests of animal welfare whatsoever,” 

“I do believe we need a proper licensed regime which works much better and is more focused on animal welfare.”

Despite his support, Andrea was unable to push anything through in her years as environmental secretary, and with the increased number of other party MPs in parliament now, Michael and Theresa will have little to no chance of bringing back hunting.

What Can I Do To Help Strengthen The Act

With public attention so focused on fox hunting and the government currently weakened, now is a great time to push for a strengthening of the hunting act:

  • Contact your mp to find out their views on a return to bloodsports, encourage them to commit to pushing for an outright ban
  • Support your local hunt saboteurs group – you can do this by going along or simply making a small donation – they are all volunteers
  • Get involved on social media – support groups that are putting pressure on MPs to stop illegal hunting

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