"The 2004 Hunting Act should have been the end. The Labour government responded to the public outcry at the barbarism of hunting with hounds and passed legislation to outlaw such animal cruelty. But the bugles and beagles were not silenced for long."

These were the words of Rachael Maskell MP who last week wrote a piece for Politics Home about her views on fox hunting and what needs to be done to end the pastime for good. Speaking about the hunts who continue to go out and break the law, Rachael Maskell stated;

"We are not fools. They never intended to stop. They said as much when the legislation reached the statute books. The tenacious work of committed saboteurs, organisations like the League Against Cruel Sports and Keep the Ban, have hunted down what has been going on: near business as usual."

What is Rachael Maskell calling for?

"While I will be seeking to amend the Hunting Act 2004 in due course, Parliament has the opportunity to advance legislation before the Commons right now. The Animal Welfare Bill sets out to protect domestic animals and livestock.

Hunts not only rip up the countryside, they also terrorise livestock, in the bill termed “worrying livestock”. Bringing an amendment to this will bring immediate reprieve to cattle and sheep and means that hunts will not be able to access land used for grazing. It may not be everything, but is one more step forward."

Keep The Ban recently launched a petition calling for hunts to not be made exempt from the proposed Animal Welfare Bill which you can sign here.

"Momentum behind the Mini’s Law campaign has also grown, after Mini the cat was mauled to death by an out of control pack of hounds. Other domestic pets have suffered the same fate. Every other week, on average, sees livestock or domestic animals killed by the continuation of hunting. This is why the Animal Welfare Bill is so relevant."

"With 85 per cent of the population believing that all forms of hunting for foxes should be illegal, Parliament cannot stand by while loopholes in the legislation are being exploited to perpetrate wildlife crime. It is clear that repealing exemptions within the Hunting Act 2004 is urgently required to end the barbarism of hunting with hounds."

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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