A former director of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), Jim Barrington, has joined the Countryside Alliance as an animal welfare consultant on the fourth anniversary of the Hunting Act (18 February).

Mr Barrington has been consultant to the Parliamentary Middle Way Group, a cross-party body that campaigned for a workable compromise on hunting, and will continue in that role while working for the Alliance.

Mr Barrington said: “Working with the Countryside Alliance seems like a logical progression as the Hunting Act has been revealed as pointless and damaging to animal welfare.

“My ex-colleagues in the anti-hunting movement are increasingly frustrated by the failure of the Act, but it is their law. After literally decades of campaigning, millions of pounds spent and numerous bills and debates, they got it wrong.

“The Act is sheer nonsense and I cannot understand or accept the proposition that it even addresses the issue of animal welfare.

“There is only one answer. The Hunting Act must be repealed. Only then can the welfare of wild mammals start to be properly addressed.”

Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “Four years after the Hunting Act came into force the question is when, not if, it will be repealed.

“We are thrilled that James has agreed to work with us to achieve that goal.”