The Conservative Government is planning a vote on making changes to the Hunting Act 2004.

Although no date has yet been confirmed, it is believed the vote is scheduled for Thursday 16 July.

The suggested changes would remove the two dog limit and permit the flushing and shooting of foxes using packs of hounds.

The Secretary of State for Defra has powers to vary the terms of exempt hunting by use of a Statutory Instrument (SI). An SI, such as that proposed to amend the Act, cannot be used to “defeat the purpose” of the original legislation and therefore traditional hunting would remain illegal.

If the vote is passed in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, it would be implemented immediately, and would therefore affect hunting in the forthcoming season.

The proposed amendments to the Hunting Act in England and Wales would bring the law into line with Scotland.

At this stage, there is no discussion of a vote on repealing the Hunting Act, which still remains the aim of hunting organisations and supporters.

A spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance said: “This is a step forward and will mean that farmers and hunts will be able to use packs of hounds to find and shoot foxes. Traditional hunting will, though, remain illegal.

“These amendments will bring the law into line with Scotland and ensure that farmers are able to choose how to manage the fox population in the most effective and humane manner.

“We still believe that the Hunting Act needs to be scrapped, but in the circumstances these amendments meet the immediate needs of the rural community.

“These amendments will bring the law into line with Scotland and ensure that farmers are able to choose how to manage the fox population in the most effective and humane manner.

“There is solid support for hunting amongst MPs and we believe that there will be a majority for these logical, evidence-based changes.”

The Countryside Alliance is calling upon all hunting supporters to contact their MPs to make their views known on the subject and to support this amendment to the Act.

  • Catherine Caroline Forbes

    The “most effective and humane way”? Its neither. and why do some of these people bring in fox cubs and breed them and raise them so they can be released and then viciously hunted and torn apart? That isn’t vermin control. it’s disgusting.##keep the ban