by Nigel
on 02 June, 2017

This May loves Foxes and all wildlife…

Over 84% of the British population remain opposed to fox hunting. There is no doubt that Fox hunting is a toxic issue for the Conservative party. David Cameron tried and failed, as recently as 2015, to put through an SI (Statutory Instrument) that would have effectively castrated the Hunting Act. According to the mainstream press, the reason Cameron failed was

that the SNP had decided to vote on the matter. No doubt, the SNP support was welcome and timely, but the real truth as to why Cameron furiously pulled his SI amendment at the last minute was because he had failed to gain the full support of his Conservative MP’s.

It seemed parliament was reflecting the public consensus and that the MP’s too had no interest in the return of a pastime, enjoyed by a few that inflicts such a barbaric and savage attack upon our native wildlife. This was a humiliating blow for Cameron and it seems his predecessor hasn't learnt from his mistake!

Hunting foxes with horses is not effective or efficient. It makes no sense to send thirty plus mounted riders and 35-50 foxhounds (still bred and kept exclusively for hunting) in pursuit of one or two foxes. Farmers and landowners in the past have tolerated the hunt but that too appears to have changed

It won’t only be foxes who suffer horribly if the Hunting Act was to be repealed. We would see a return to Stag Hunting, with packs of riders with staghounds chasing stags across moorland to the certain death from a thousand bites from the hounds. We would also see a return of Hare Courses and the horrific annual shows where they chase down ‘live hares’ for the pleasure of the audience, of course, they also carry on this vile pastime in the fields and open land too - and they often have a little flutter on which dog will catch the hare, before the inevitable tug of war between dogs as the innocent hare gets ripped into pieces.

There is no conservation benefit from hunting, there is no population control benefit. Hunts have been filmed with vixens and Cubs in ‘false earths’ and let’s not forget, the Isle of Wight had no foxes until the hunts imported them in the 1920s exclusively to hunt. Tradition is not an argument - clean boot hunting provides all the excitement of the horse ride but follows a human runner and requires a much higher standard of ‘horsemanship’ than a ‘live hunt’ that often involves spending hours sitting in the field waiting for hounds to follow a scent.

Fox hunting was confined to history by the Hunting Act in 2005. Don’t turn back the clock in 2017.

The announcement by Theresa May that she is “in favour” of the currently illegal activity of fox hunting has shocked us all and seen lifetime Tory supporters back away from the party. She has accepted the support of Vote OK in her very marginal seats with apledge of an ‘old chestnut” - that she will offer MP’s a free vote to repeal the hunting act. Will the appeasement of the hunters outweigh the votes she will loose? 

Brian May, Queen’s guitarist and animal welfare campaigner said; ‘In the midst of her campaigning, we saw Theresa May assert she was in favour of Fox Hunting and would bring in a bill to Parliament to repeal the Hunting Act. Suddenly the blinkers are off! Fox Hunting! In the middle of planning our whole future as a nation, she declares she wants to bring back blood sports. It’s so shocking that most people would not have believed it until they heard it from her lips. The vast majority of the British public is horrified and disgusted by all forms of blood sports’.

‘If the Hunting Act is repealed you will see the return of deer packs with hounds chasing stags across the moors, of terrified stags throwing themselves into rivers or lakes and even off the tops of hills and ledges to avoid the death by a thousand bites from the hounds - that’s not all - the Hare courses will return testing their greyhounds and lurchers against hares - even through the breeding season! Hares are chosen because unlike rabbits, hares do not go underground when chased’.

With 84% of the electorate against fox hunting, this could prove to be a costly mistake. The story has dominated the media and it will see her standing drop over the next few weeks. 

Save Me is a charity set up to prevent the repeal of the hunting act and other wildlife crimes and issues. We will continue to dedicate our time to upholding the ban and over the next week, we will be engaging with candidates from all parties ensuring they have the full facts on a ‘sport’ that we find heinous and barbaric. 

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