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Friday, March 13, 1998 Published at 16:47 GMT

UK: Politics

Anti-hunting Bill killed off by opponents
image: [ Pro-hunt MPs have scuppered moves to ban the sport ]
Pro-hunt MPs have scuppered moves to ban the sport

A last ditch attempt to save a Bill to ban hunting with hounds has failed after it was talked out of time in the House of Commons.

[ image: Michael Foster: still believes hunting is doomed]
Michael Foster: still believes hunting is doomed
The Bill's sponsor, Worcester MP Michael Foster, was unable to persuade the Speaker to allow time for a debate on a new clause aimed at bringing in the ban through existing legislation.

Conservative MPs successfully talked out the Hunting with Dogs Bill in the Commons last week by tabling over 150 amendments.

The same thing happened on Friday, with opponents tabling hundreds of amendments to ensure the Bill was bogged down in debate and ran out of time.

Labour MP Michael Foster tells BBC Radio 4's World at One that he is still hopeful the ban will be enforced ('2 ''09).
Last week supporters of the Bill accused pro-hunt MPs of filibustering - using delaying tactics. One lengthy discussion concerned the definition of "dog".

With strong opposition to the Bill from a minority of MPs, the backbench measure was almost certainly doomed without government support, and Friday's debate marked another nail in its coffin.

However, the Bill's sponsor vowed to continue the campaign for a ban on hunting with dogs.

Mr Foster said: "We are not going to pack up on this Bill. If my opponents think they can abuse the House and the electorate by engaging in delaying tactics, they are sadly mistaken because the British electorate want to see this Bill passed."

Vowing to put the Bill down for debate on each of the remaining Fridays left in this Parliamentary session, he said he still believed hunting with dogs would be banned before the end of this Parliament.

Opposition to the proposed ban was one of the motivations for thousands of people who marched through central London two weeks ago in protest at what they see as the erosion of traditional country values.

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