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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 3 December, 2002, 20:58 GMT
Head to head: New hunting proposals
Hunt
Hunts will have to justify their case
Government proposals to ban hunting with dogs in some areas but allow it under licence in others has left doubts in the minds of both the pro-hunt lobby and animal welfare groups.
Josey Sharrad, fox hunting campaigner for the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals said they are still seeking a total ban.

I would take the view that you can't licence cruelty.

The new system is going to create more bureaucracy.

It's a compromise, but we are campaigning for an outright ban on all hunting with dogs and won't accept anything short of that.

We can't understand how you can outlaw stag hunting and not fox hunting.


Tony Blair said in 1997 that fox hunting would be banned and they have watered it down quite considerably

Josey Sharrad
Fox hunting is unnecessary cruelty. There are more humane methods of killing foxes.

'Lamping' - shooting with a high powered rifle by a skilled marksman - is far more humane.

I also don't know how this system is going to work.

The government promised to resolve the issue and they haven't. It falls short of resolving the issue.

Tony Blair said in 1997 that fox hunting would be banned and they have watered it down quite considerably.

MPs have voted consistently on this issue and overwhelmingly they have voted against it, but it gets blocked by the Lords.

Neither side will be happy with this.

We will be stepping up the campaign now. We feel this isn't acceptable.

And we will be providing support to back bench MPs who have voted against hunting.

Tim Lewin, a hunt master at the Ledbury Hunt in Gloucestershire, believes the government proposals will create an unfair "post code" licensing system.

The government is aiming to try to restrict fox hunting to areas where there is no alternative but fox hunting, like upland areas.

I am concerned about who will be on the tribunals. We would like to know who will be sitting on them.


This is just another level of bureaucracy... and it probably isn't necessary to go down this route

Tim Lewin
You could put land owners on the committee and we would have no problems at all.

But put in the 'antis' and we would have no chance.

It would create great imbalance because some hunts would be allowed to continue and others wouldn't.

It would generate a post-code licensing system.

We feel that of all means of fox control, hunting is the least cruel and we have scientific people who would say the same.

Shooting or poisoning is a much crueller way.

So on cruelty grounds, we feel we would win the case.

This is just another level of bureaucracy to add to this country and it probably isn't necessary to go down this route.

I think Labour MPs will hijack it and turn it into a total ban.

But then it would go to the European court and the government would lose because it would take away people's livelihoods.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Guto Harri
"Do these proposals have a hope of ending up on the statute books?"
Background and analysis of one of the most contentious issues in British politics

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See also:

03 Dec 02 | Politics
03 Dec 02 | Politics
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