Badminton riders and visitors reminded to register to vote

Eventing fans and riders that will be heading to Badminton this year (7-10 May) are encouraged to register for a postal vote, as the general election falls on the first day of the Gloucestershire horse trials.

Voting will take place on Thursday 7 May, and rural and equestrian organisations are urging all those with a love and interest in countryside affairs to vote. Those away from home will need a postal vote to do so.

Voters are encouraged to put pressure on politicians to make sure rural issues are not pushed aside.

James Legge, head of political affairs for the Countryside Alliance, told H&H: “It is very important that the rural voice is heard in the general election so we would urge everyone to firstly check that they are registered to vote, and then if they will be away from home on polling day that they apply for a postal vote.”

Equestrian and rural campaign groups are fighting for political advantage as country issues begin to dominate the 2015 general election campaign — including the ongoing problems with fly grazing, which to tackle needs governments funds. Also an issue is the concept of a central equine database, which is to be compulsory under EU regulations by 2016.

A major focus is the Hunting Act, which more than a decade after the Hunting Act was introduced, hunts remain unanimous in their message that the act is unworkable and must be repealed.

Earlier this month Prime Minister David Cameron said a Conservative government would give parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government Bill in government time.

The Master of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) has said it will put pressure on any future government to repeal the act.

“From the start the Act was about class warfare, not animal welfare,” said the MFHA’s Tim Easby.

Ref: Horse & Hound; 2 April 2015