It emerged yesterday, behind the smokescreen of wall-to-wall Budget coverage, that the Government is intending to propose amendments to the Hunting Act (2004). Currently two dogs may be used to flush foxes out of hiding so they can be shot. This is done under the guise of “pest control” by people who are wary of natural ecological processes (or ignorant of them). A number of senior Government figures like the idea of chasing foxes with much larger numbers of dogs but this is currently illegal. Rather than offer a vote to repeal the Hunting Act (which would quite possibly be lost and would involve lengthy debate) this new course of action provides a swift and scrutiny-free way of at least allowing hunts to chase with full packs. Clearly this narrows the gap to full hunting considerably. It would make it significantly more difficult for prosecutions for illegal hunting to be brought successfully. If not quite “legalising hunting by the back door”, it is definitely opening the garden gate and leaving a window ajar.
I suggest you get on to your MP pronto – the vote is a week today. There are a number of emails circulating with letter templates / forms etc. By all means use these but it may also be worthwhile sending personal emails or letters as well. I’ve emailed my (pro-hunting) MP and I’ve included the text here to give you some ideas.