The Countryside Alliance (CA) is urging all hunting supporters to lobby their MP on repeal of the Hunting Act, despite environment minister Caroline Spelman saying that a review was low on the list of the government’s priorities.
Ms Spelman told the Western Morning News yesterday that repeal had to “take its place in the queue” and was unlikely to take place this year, although she insisted that it is “in the business plan”.
A spokesman for DEFRA said: “The coalition government pledged to put forward a motion to allow a free vote on the Hunting Act. This will take place at an appropriate time and, if parliament were to vote in favour of repeal, the government would introduce a repeal bill in due course.”
Meanwhile, the CA has introduced an e-lobbying operation as well as lobby postcards, to enable supporters to canvas their MP. All hunts have been sent batches of postcards, which feature a caricature of Tony Blair in hunting pink.
“Caroline Spelman has confirmed the coalition pledge to revisit the Hunting Act,” said the CA’s Chloe Finch. “Rightly she has confirmed that it is not a current priority, but it is vital that we encourage people to lobby MPs and keep hunting on the political agenda.”
And Tim Bonner, spokesman for the Hunting Office added: “It’s no surprise that a repeal is not yet on the timetable. However, the whole hunting community does expect the coalition government to deliver on its commitment during its time in office.
“It may not be the first priority, but it certainly shouldn’t be its last.”