Plans to change the existing foxhunting laws in England and Wales have been postponed by the Government, although they are likely to return in Autumn 2015.
North West Hampshire’s MP, Kit Malthouse is well documented as being a supporter in the change in fox hunting laws. Andover & Villages spoke to Kit to ask him f he would be voting in favour of the changes and why.
Kit said, “I appreciate the strong feelings many people have on this issue although there does seem to be widespread lack of clarity about what was proposed. The situation is as follows:
“As part of the Hunting Act’s pest control exemptions, farmers and gamekeepers can currently use up to two dogs to flush foxes from cover to be shot. This makes an important contribution to land managers’ ability to control foxes. However, upland farmers have said that the two-dog limit is impractical on this terrain, which can be vast, difficult and often covered by woodland. They have asked for more flexibility, bringing the law closer to the position in Scotland.
“On 15 July therefore, the Government intended to give the House of Commons the opportunity to amend the provisions for exempt hunting so that farmers and gamekeepers could decide, based on the terrain and other circumstances, if it is appropriate to use more than two dogs to flush out foxes. Conservative MPs were to have a free vote.
“The measure would also let land managers use a single dog to flush foxes from underground to protect livestock, as they already can for game and wild birds, and extend to include diseased animals in the provision that permits exempt hunting to relieve an injured wild animal of suffering.
“These technical amendments would not lift the ban on hunting with dogs and, while placing greater trust in farmers and gamekeepers, the controls would remain more restrictive than those in Scotland.
“I believe this is an entirely sensible set of proposals that will make the exemptions in the Hunting Act more workable and I will be voting in favour if they are presented again.”
Tell us below what you think about the changes and Kit voting in favour of them!