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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 March, 2005, 17:56 GMT
JP steps down over hunting laws
A magistrate has resigned her position in protest at the Hunting Act.

Susan Foster, who has been a JP for 30 years, said she stepped down from the bench in Telford, Shropshire, because the new law was "driven by prejudice".

Ms Foster, 69, of Ludlow, said the ban meant she could not fulfil her oath to "do right by all manner of people".

"I strongly believe that the people in this country, whoever they are, should be free to pursue their traditional ways of life," she said.

'Destroying livelihoods'

Ms Foster, who does not hunt, added: "The Hunting Act was driven by prejudice and forced on to the Statute Book by very dubious means.

"My decision has absolutely nothing to do with the single issue of the rights or wrongs of hunting with dogs but it has everything to do with the principles of freedom, justice and minority rights, which this country has always stood for.

"I cannot see any justice in destroying the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working, law-abiding people by legislation which was not supported by the findings of two independent inquiries."

Ms Foster stepped down from her post at Telford Magistrates' Court, Shropshire, after the legislation came into effect on 19 February.




SEE ALSO:
Judge quits bench over hunt ban
25 Feb 05 |  North Yorkshire
Hunt ban to be policed 'as usual'
24 Feb 05 |  Politics
Minister defends hunting ban law
21 Feb 05 |  Politics


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