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Hunting with dogs

Last Updated: Thursday February 24 2005 13:42 GMT

Will hunting and coursing be stopped?

Hunting dogs

In November 2004, MPs voted to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales. It started on 18 February 2005.

The House of Lords did not agree with the ban, but the government used a special power - The Parliament Act - to make sure the proposal would become law.

A pro-hunting group called the Countryside Alliance asked the courts to look at the way The Parliament Act was used. They thought the politicians may have broken the rules when they passed the ban.

However, the ban was found to be legal.

Is fox hunting illegal in Scotland?

Yes. It was banned in February 2002.

Key dates

In June 2000, a report called the Burns Inquiry was published. It concluded that hunting "seriously compromises the welfare of the fox."

In July 1999, Tony Blair announced on the TV programme Question Time that hunting would be banned.

In 2002, MPs voted 362 votes to 154 to ban fox hunting. However, the Lords wanted registered hunts to continue. Because of the disagreement no law was passed at that time.

The Human Rights challenge

The Countryside Alliance are also challenging the Hunting Bill using the European Convention on Human Rights. They argue that the hunting ban goes against:

- Article 8, which says that "everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life";

- Article 11, which states that everyone "has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association", and that "no restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights";

- Article 1 of protocol 1, which says that "every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions"; and

- Article 14, which declares that the rights in the convention "shall be secured without discrimination on any grounds".