10 years ago, the UK stepped out of the Dark Ages. Today's government want to take us back to that time.
In order to prevent opposition building momentum, the Government plans to quickly push through changes to The Hunting Act, less than a week after announcing a vote would take place. To see years of hard work from campaigners and the public be undone in a matter of hours would be a travesty, yet the consequences would be far more horrific for animals facing cruel and terrifying deaths once more.
10 years ago, on 18th Feb 2005, the Hunting Act came into force – finally making it illegal to hunt wild animals with dogs for sport in England and Wales (Scotland had preceded the rest of the UK by introducing a ban in 2002). This was not a day too early for all those who oppose blood sports and animal cruelty. And there were many who did oppose it. The Hunting Act was a true expression of the will of the people – an example of democracy in action which we do not see very often in a lifetime. Its passage through Parliament was long and tortuous, with opposition from many vested interests and blocking tactics in The House of Lords. However feeling amongst the public was so strong that MPs knew, no matter how many complications they encountered in the Act’s progress, the voting public would not forgive them for not doing the right thing when the chance was before them.
So the Act came kicking and screaming into being – which was a harbinger of how its life was going to be. The Hunting Act has had a hard first 10 years – with the hunting community publicly stating they would not abide by it, the police hesitant to police it and successive governments reluctant to throw themselves behind the enforcement of it.
Despite all this, the public remains firmly behind this law. The latest polling from Ipsos MORI, conducted in 2014 on behalf of The League Against Cruel Sports, shows a huge mandate on behalf of animals – and one that politicians can only look at in envy:
80% of people think fox hunting should remain illegal
86% think stag hunting should remain illegal and
88% think hare hunting and coursing should remain illegal
See poll in full here.
Ten years ago, a vast majority of the British public wanted to ban this cruel, outdated practice and, a decade on, tearing animals apart for ‘sport’ still has no place in a modern society. The Hunting Act stands as an example of how democratic pressure can sometimes work – and in times of voter apathy and disillusionment in our parliamentary processes, it shines as a beacon.
If you believe that bloodsports are an atrocity, tell your MP why they need to protect The Hunting Act on Wednesday 15th July:
Spread the word and tell the world why the British public want to #keeptheban.