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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 10:50 GMT
Hunting: What are the options?
Fox hunting
MPs are expected to vote for an outright hunting ban.
So what were the options on hunting considered by MPs?

An outright ban on hunting with dogs.

This would put an end to the 300 year old tradition and would include all forms of hunting with hounds.

The Middle Way

This is the so-called compromise on fox hunting - continuing the activity, but under strict conditions.

  • Hare-coursing and stag-hunting would be outlawed.

    Enthusiasts say the object of coursing is to test the speed, agility and stamina of the greyhounds that chase the hares. They claim only one in eight coursed hares are killed.

    Stag hunting goes back to Norman times when deer and boar were hunted exclusively by the Royal Family and their guests in the royal forests.

  • Every hunt in the country which could prove they were needed for vermin control would have to be licensed for three years.

  • There would be strict controls against cruelty, including a ban on the "digging out" of foxes.

  • The licences could be issued every two or three years and are likely to indicate whether the hunting is for a fox, deer, mink or hare and where the hunt will take place.

  • The Independent Supervisory Authority on Hunting could be put on a statutory footing with the power to impose fines of up to 5,000 on hunts and individuals, to suspend them and to call police to investigate complaints of cruelty.

    Tony Banks, former sports minister
    Banks wants an outright ban

  • The authority is expected to be able to make sure that hunts do not trespass near residential areas and that safety on roads and lanes is upheld.

  • Hunts would have to prove they were covered by third-party insurance in case of an accident.

  • Children under 16 may be banned from hunting and numbers of riders or hounds might be limited for each hunt.

  • Every huntsman or woman may have to hold an individual licence and have the right of appeal to a magistrate's court if they are refused a licence.

  • Hunts will face spot checks by inspectors and hunt supporters may be given training and have to take exams.

    The status quo.

    This will mean the activity continuing unchanged.

  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Nicholas Jones
    "There is much talk now of going for 'the middle way'"
    UK Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael
    "I have always voted for a ban"
    Labour MP Tony Banks
    "You cannot license cruelty"
    Background and analysis of one of the most contentious issues in British politics

    Latest stories

    The Scottish ban

    Analysis

    Background

    TALKING POINT
    See also:

    17 Mar 02 | UK Politics
    03 Mar 02 | UK Politics
    16 Mar 02 | UK Politics
    28 Feb 02 | Scotland
    26 Feb 02 | England
    Internet links:


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