An unofficial select committee set up by the all-party Middle Way Group heard evidence from both the pro- and anti-hunting lobby in the House of Commons last week.

Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP and joint-chairman of the Middle Way Group, said: “Though the House of Commons voted for opposing options in the last government’s Hunting Bill, a third of all parliamentarians who voted on the issue supported the Middle Way. The decision to organise a review committee was taken after numerous calls of support. All the main organisations were invited to make submissions to the committee.”

Co-chairman Peter Luff MP added: “Only a minority of people now want a ban. That is why it is important that we refine our proposals, making it easier for Parliament to arrive at a compromise that will command local support.”

The UK’s hunting associations have told the Middle Way Development committee that they are keen to seek a resolution to the hunting debate. However, any solution must be “affordable, enforceable and truly independent”.

For full report see tomorrow’s issue (5 July 2001) of Horse & Hound magazine or click here to subscribe.