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Please vote to keep the Hunting Ban

This petition had 4,378 supporters


Dear Mr Turner

As is common knowledge, Prime Minister David Cameron intends to hold a parliamentary vote on repealing the Hunting Ban (2004). He believes that people have a right to hunt. The Island people (listed below) do not want a repeal and we ask you to please represent our views in Parliament.

We, the undersigned, urge you to vote to keep the Hunting Ban (2004) for the following reasons.

1.      Foxes are not classified as vermin - they are protected by Wild Mammals Act 1996, which states that it is a criminal offence to, with intent, inflict unnecessary suffering of any wild mammal.

2.      An extract from The Lord Burns Report states clearly that the death of a fox hunted by hounds can’t be proved as instantaneous and the experience of the chase “seriously compromises the welfare of the fox.” Therefore often results in unnecessary suffering of a wild mammal.

3.      Foxes aren’t aggressive. They are gentle, intelligent canids who are nature’s dustbins – they scavenge dead animals, eat rats (vermin) and rabbits (pest) and it is estimated that they save British crop farmers around £7 million every year. Foxes are essential predators needed for the health of ecosystems. Due to their feeding habits, foxes actually help reduce economic losses to forestry.

4.      There is no evidence that hunting foxes with dogs controls fox numbers. In fact, foxes are self-regulating animals and, killing one fox, only opens territory for another fox to fill. The Burns Report says “Hunting is almost certainly insignificant in terms of the management of the fox population as a whole.”

5.      Estimated total numbers of foxes are 250,000 and their numbers are declining. During the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, when fox hunting was stopped, the number of foxes didn’t rise. More evidence that fox hunting does not control numbers of foxes.

6.       There is no evidence that foxes are being killed inhumanely by other means due to the Hunting Act 2004.

Along with these points above, we would like to highlight the following.

1.      Enforcement of this law has been seriously lacking. It is not acceptable to justify the repealing of a law because it hasn’t been enforced properly. Enforcement is the responsibility of the government and police force, who should be working together to ensure the law is abided by and penalties given where appropriate. Sentences should be heightened to include custodial sentences in line with other wildlife crime legislation.

2.      Many hunts do not take into account public safety, with documented cases of hounds causing problems on public highways, attacking companion animals and being killed by cars and trains because they are not properly controlled.

3.      It is known that cubs are raised by some hunts to be chased and killed. This is unacceptable.

In Summary:

Hunting with dogs has no place in the modern world. The law should be improved and enforced and not repealed.

Sources:

Wild Mammals Act 1996 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/3/introduction

www.houndsoff.co.uk

International Fund for Animal Welfare: www.ifaw.com

Save Me: www.save-me.org.uk

League Against Cruel Sports: www.league.org.uk

Burns Report: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100512151544/http:/www.huntinginquiry.gov.uk/mainsections/huntingreport.htm

 

 

 



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