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Queen’s Speech – free vote on hunting announced

Among the bills unveiled in the Queen’s Speech this week in the run up to an expected election in May 2001, is a bill to outlaw foxhunting.

The Hunting with Hounds Bill offers MPs three options:

  • a total ban

  • a compulsory regulatory system which would licence huntsmen

  • voluntary self-regulation

    However, it is expected that the bill will face resistance in the House of Lords and is unlikely to become law before the next general election.

    The Countryside Alliance has responded by describing the proposal of a complete ban on hunting (option three of the bill) as “grossly illiberal, illogical, unworkable and unenforceable.”

    On the bill as a whole the Alliance commented: “It would clearly beperverse for Parliament to force through a ban on one single human activity regarding animals rather than ensuring a much-needed overhaul to tighten up animal welfare legislation in general.

    “This would merely prove that MPs’ obsession with hunting is based on prejudice against people rather than concern for animals’ welfare.”

    To read the Hunting bill in full visit http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmbills/002/2001002.htm

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