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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 March, 2005, 16:19 GMT
Fresh legal challenge to hunt ban
A hunt
The first legal challenge to the ban failed in the Court of Appeal
The House Of Lords is to hear a further appeal by the Countryside Alliance against the hunting with dogs ban.

The alliance is challenging a Court of Appeal decision that the 1949 Parliament Act, used to overcome Lords opposition to the ban, was not invalid.

Nine Law Lords are expected to hear the case before the end of the legal summer term on 28 July.

The Hunting Act, banning fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing with dogs, came into force in February.

Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Simon Hart said: "We welcome this decision by the House of Lords.

"In view of the constitutional importance of this case, it is only right that this matter should be decided by the highest court in the land."

The alliance claims that the 1949 Parliament Act, which lets the House of Commons overrule the House of Lords, is itself invalid because it was never passed by peers.

John Cooper, chairman of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "I am appalled that after some of the most senior judges in the land have rejected the hunters' appeal, that they are seeking to waste further court time and resources.

"They simply must accept that the Hunting Act is on the statute book, that it is now law, and desist from trying to exert their unpopular will over democracy."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "I think we would agree that it is right for the appeal to be heard by the House of Lords because of its constitutional importance."




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