The hunting community has welcomed the news that the sport will continue to be an important topic in Europe with the re-establishment of the ‘Hunting Intergroup’ in the European Parliament.
The Parliamentary Intergroup on Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside is a group of MEPs from across the political spectrum who have an interest in the issues.
As is normal, the Intergroup was dissolved before the 2014 European Elections, but with hard work from the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) — including the Countryside Alliance — it has now been reformed.
The re-establishment of the Intergroup was supported by over 100 MEPs from all political groups in the European Parliament, 15 from the UK, and is one of 29 Intergroups approved from 70 proposed.
The final approval was taken last week by the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents of the political groups.
James Legge, of the Countryside Alliance, said: “The Intergroup, which has existed since 1985, is one of largest and most active in the European Parliament, contributing to debates on wildlife conservation and management, firearms legislation, public and animal health policies and rural issues.
“It plays a vital role in ensuring that hunting is represented at the heart of European decision making and the strong support from MEPs is a recognition of the important role that hunting plays within the European countryside.”
In November the sport celebrated surviving 10 years after the Hunting Act was forced through Parliament.
Despite the changes, the hunting fraternity remained upbeat and vowed to fight for repeal of the act while working within the law in the meantime.
Since the ban was enforced on 18 February 2005, registered hunts in England and Wales have carried out more than 150,000 days hunting.