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Last Updated: Friday, 19 November, 2004, 11:21 GMT
Hunt ban 'will destroy culture'
Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt
Pro-hunt campaigners say their way of life is being destroyed
The hunting ban pushed through by MPs on Thursday will destroy a culture and turn rural areas into a playground for city dwellers, a campaigner says.

Mark Bycroft, huntsman for the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt for 18 seasons, said the ban would end what had been a way of life for centuries.

Gillingham MP Paul Clark, who voted for the ban, said the concern was now about people who would defy the law. MPs used the Parliament Act to push through the ban by February 2005.

Labour MP Mr Clark said: "What we have to worry about now is the lengths that people are going to go to defy the law of the land.

People who live in a city should come out and look at the countryside and see what we are actually up to
Mark Rycroft, huntsman

"We have seen some of those antics at our party conference with carcasses being left in the streets."

Mr Bycroft said the effect of a hunting ban on his rural way of life would turn the countryside into "a landscape of people who come out of the city, have a walk around, and go back again".

"People who live in a city, who don't really understand the way of my life, or the way of people in the country, should actually come out and look at the countryside and see what we are actually up to," he said.

He said hunting with hounds provided the least cruel and most effective way of controlling the fox population.

"Everybody agrees foxes have to be controlled.

"What method you use is an argument that has been going on for generations.

"If hounds catch a fox, it's dead. There are no ifs and buts."

Hunt ban forced through Commons
19 Nov 04 |  Politics
Hunt ban's impact on Blair
18 Nov 04 |  Politics


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