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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Hunt campaigners lose legal bid
Hounds
The law makes it illegal to hunt with dogs in England and Wales
The Countryside Alliance and other pro-hunt campaigners have lost their latest legal bid to overturn the government's ban on hunting with dogs.

They had asked the Court of Appeal to rule that the ban in England and Wales breached European human rights, trading and employment regulations.

However, three appeal judges upheld a High Court ruling that it was lawful.

Following the decision, pro-hunt campaigners vowed to continue their battle by taking the case to Europe.

'Legitimate and proportionate'

The pro-hunt lobby had cited the European Convention on Human Rights and EU legislation to back their appeal.

But Master of the Rolls Sir Anthony Clarke, Lord Justice Brooke and Lord Justice Buxton said imposing the ban was a "legitimate and proportionate" exercise of government powers.

Brian Friend, secretary of the Liberal Democrat Forum for the Countryside, said: "I am disappointed but it was not unexpected.

"It does seem that human rights are applied to some people in this country and not to others."

The Countryside Alliance called the hunt ban a "divisive sectarian measure" and said it could ruin the livelihoods of thousands of people who earned their living from hunting.

A constitutional challenge to the 2004 Hunting Act has been already been dismissed by the courts.

The law prohibits fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing with dogs in England and Wales.


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