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It has been reported that Prime Minister Theresa May will U-turn on her manifesto pledge to give MPs a free vote on overturning the fox hunting ban.
An article in the Sunday Times titled Theresa May ditches foxhunting to back animal rights claims the PM wants to ‘rebrand the Conservatives as a ‘caring’ party’.
According to the paper: “May’s move follows a fierce voter backlash, especially among young people, against her pro-hunting policy in this year’s general election.”
The law, which was introduced by the Labour Party in 2004, bans the use of dogs to hunt wild mammals in England and Scotland.
While the pro-hunting lobby wants to see the legislation overturned, animal welfarists would like to see it strengthened, and enforced more efficiently.
The U-turn follows Environment Secretary Michael Gove pledging to strengthen animal welfare laws in the UK following Brexit, as well as MSPs recently pledging to strengthen anti-hunting laws in Scotland.
According to a Downing Street source, reports on the U-turn are ‘pure speculation’, but they added: “There is no vote that could change the current policy on fox hunting scheduled in this session of Parliament [ending in 2019].”
The PM previously said she supports bloodsports.
During the run up to the General Election she said: “As it happens, personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting, and we maintain our commitment, we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party, to allow a free vote.”
Eduardo Goncalves, CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, told PBN: “It’s nearly 2018, not 1818, so it’s a little strange we’re celebrating because a government has renounced fox hunting.
“But yet, this is still good news. There’s been a shift this year, as the Government has realised quite how important it is to recognise the compassionate nature of the British public.
“Their election manifesto to hold a vote on repealing the hunting act was left in tatters.
“Then the suggestion that the government does not recognise that animals are sentient beings was met with ridicule.
“Pro animal policies have followed, but if this is what it has taken to rid this country of a barbaric hobby which kills thousands of animals in the name of fun, then we welcome it.
He added: “Whatever the policy of the government, the reality is that hunting is illegal but hunts still go out and kill foxes, stags and hares on almost a daily basis.
“They are fooling the public by pretending to be just following a trail, not animals, but the violent reality is clear to anyone who is paying attention.
“If the government is serious about ridding this country of the abhorrent sport of hunting, then those who are breaking the law and still hunting must be caught and prosecuted, which frankly isn’t happening at the moment.
“If we are to be a country united against blood sports, then let’s prove it by shutting down those who kill animals for fun once and for all.”