The Alliance has confirmed that it is to go ahead with a massive civil liberties demonstration in London on March 18 next year, in response to the Government’s inclusion in the Queen’s Speech of an ‘options’ hunting bill offering MPs the opportunity to vote through an outright ban.
The Alliance described the bill itself as unnecessary and instead repeated its call for a comprehensive review to tighten existing animal welfare legislation.
Chief executive, Richard Burge, said: “This Queen’s Speech regrettably contains no explicit measures to address the deep crisis assailing rural Britain and gives no hint as to how any of the constructive ideas in its recent rural white paper are to be advanced through the forthcoming raft of new legislation.
“Yet, apparently, it has been necessary to find time for a bill which gives MPs the opportunity to ban hunting.
“This would simply curtail a rural minority’s civil liberty with no benefits for the rural majority or for animal welfare. We will not sit back and allow the prejudice and bigotry of some MPs to triumph”.
Alliance chairman John Jackson commented, “The bill on hunting is unnecessary. What is needed, and what the Alliance has consistently called for, is a proper, coherent law on animal welfare as a whole which clearly makes it unlawful intentionally to inflict, by any means, unnecessary suffering on any mammal.
Mr. Jackson also urged the government to ensure that its legislative centrepiece, the crackdown on yobculture and anti-social behaviour, was seen to extend to the current wave of anti-hunting violence.
The Alliance’s “Liberty and Livelihood March on 18 March will call on Parliament to: