Prospects of Hunting Act vote shelved

Government plans to vote on overturning the hunting ban look likely to be abandoned.

In the Coalition agreement, it was stated that MPs would be given a free vote on the Hunting Act.

But senior Conservatives have now reportedly decided there is “no point” holding a vote before next year’s general election, as it is thought that most MPs support the ban.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also said that even if the vote went ahead, the Liberal Democrats would not agree to scrap the Act.

The Hunting Act was introduced by Labour in 2004 and no amendments have been made to it since.

“Reports the Government may not fulfil its promise of a free vote on repeal are no surprise, given the lack of any agreement on the future of hunting in Parliament,” said the Countryside Alliance’s Tim Bonner.

“It would be pointless starting a debate just a year before the next election. But the hunting ban remains a pointless law, which the Government has done nothing to improve in the past 4 years.”

Earlier this year, H&H reported that the Hunting Act is unlikely to change any time soon, after the Prime Minister said it was doubtful a Government agreement would be reached.

Welsh hill farmers argued that a change was needed due to an increase in fox attacks
on lambs.