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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 16:49 GMT
Pro-hunters warn against ban
A fox during a hunt
'No case for a ban', says Countryside Alliance
Passionate pro-hunters have warned the government that a ban on it will lead to "some very serious unrest".

The Countryside Alliance says ministers should expect trouble if a Hunting Bill outlawing hunting with dogs is introduced in the Queen's Speech in November.


I suspect that grass root movement will dictate what degree of unrest will be

Sam Butler
Chairman Sam Butler claims MPs who have repeatedly voted for a ban since Labour came to power in 1997 are out of step with public opinion.

He said recent opinion polls showed there was no public majority for a ban.

He pointed at the strength of feeling expressed by about 400,000 people who marched through London in the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march in September.

Advertising campaign

"Any of us who were out in the countryside after the march where people attended in far more passion and seriousness than I have ever seen before - they were there with a real sense of purpose," he said.

"There will be some very, very serious unrest in the countryside if the government were either persuaded or decided to pursue a ban or partial ban route that was not based on evidence and not seen to be fair or considered to be right.

"I suspect that grass root movement will dictate what degree of unrest will be.

"I don't think the Alliance is necessarily going to dictate that."

Mr Butler made his remarks as the Alliance launched an advertising campaign featuring people, from many different backgrounds, who work in hunting or support it.

Hunting Bill

These include: a vet, a plumber, a nurse, a gay couple, a family, a student and a grandmother.

The advertisements will appear in the run up to the Queen's Speech on 13 November, when the government is expected to announce a new Hunting Bill.


The more the facts about hunting emerge, the more obvious it is that there is no case for a ban

Simon Hart
Countryside Alliance
A new NOP survey by the Countryside Alliance suggests support for a hunting ban is decreasing.

About 1,000 adults were asked, between 25 and 27 October, which of the possible outcomes for hunting they would support.

According to the Alliance, 28% said that hunting with dogs should be controlled by a government licence scheme, with 26% saying that hunting should remain as it is, subject to self-regulation.

'No case for a ban'

Some 43% thought hunting should be made a criminal offence.

The Alliance said an earlier poll carried out in March suggested that 48% opted for hunting with dogs to be made a criminal offence.

Simon Hart, director of the Campaign for Hunting, said: "The more the facts about hunting emerge, the more obvious it is that there is no case for a ban.

"This poll shows a strong pattern developing - increasingly the public recognises the need for a sensible solution based on evidence."


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22 May 02 | Politics
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