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Last Updated: Monday, 29 November, 2004, 06:45 GMT
'License hunting in Wales' call
The hunting debate shows no sign of easing
A rural pressure group is calling for Wales to "go it alone" on hunting.

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in mid Wales, Ross Murray, of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), will call for the sport to be licensed in the country.

Mr Murray has challenged the Welsh Assembly Government to reconsider the new law introduced earlier this month.

But Countryside Minister Carwyn Jones said hunting legislation was not a matter for devolved government.

Mr Murray said that many Welsh packs would fight the new hunting with dogs ban and he predicted "many years" of legal action.

Licensed hunting would be a huge draw for rural Wales
Ross Murray, CLA Wales chairman

"CLA Wales was the first to call for Wales to go it alone on hunting," Mr Murray said.

"Licensed hunting would be a huge draw for rural Wales, as it seems likely will be the case in Scotland.

"Money would pour into the Welsh countryside with English guests coming in to hunt."

Mr Murray, who does not hunt himself, said he was challenging Carwyn Jones to reconsider the situation in Wales.

However, Mr Jones said on Sunday: "The new law on hunting is an England and Wales Act and is not a devolved matter."

Earlier this month, the Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin invoked the Parliament Act, meaning a ban on fox hunting will be in place by February 2005 despite the House of Lords opposing a ban.

The Royal Welsh Show in July
The winter fair hopes to build on the success of the Royal Welsh Show

Mr Martin told MPs the Act was being used for only the fourth time since 1949 - a move sparked by peers who earlier rejected a ban on hunting with dogs.

The bill was then given Royal Assent bringing to an end years of wrangling.

Now in its 15th year, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Winter Fair is held over two days at Llanelwedd, near Builth Wells.

The winter fair will hope to build on the success enjoyed by the Royal Welsh Show, which enjoyed one of its most successful years in July.

One of the highlights of the fair will be celebrated by The Welsh Sheepdog Society.

On Tuesday, Penlanlwyd Milfed, 10-week-old black and tan bitch, will become the 1,000th puppy registered by the society.

The society was established in 1997 by a group of Welsh farmers to save the ancient breed from near extinction.

Hunt ban not big issue - Prescott
23 Nov 04 |  Politics
In pursuit of civil disobedience
19 Nov 04 |  Politics


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