Yesterday, buried away amongst Budget headlines, came the news that we animal lovers have been dreading: David Cameron is putting his plans in place to destroy the Hunting Act.
Mr Cameron clearly knows that he wouldn’t have enough support for a full repeal. As well as 80% of the general population being against hunting, many MPs in his own party have been vocal about their anti-hunting views, with more and more of them changing their stance to anti-hunting in recent months.
He is determined to bring hunting back, and is resorting to underhand tactics to do so through the back door. This is being done by making amendments to the existing Act which would allow an unlimited number of hounds to be used in hunts. Given that the purpose of the Hunting Act is to protect the welfare of our wildlife, such an amendment would result in the Act being unable to serve its purpose. Thousands of defenceless creatures will once again be subject to unimaginable cruelty and death.
David Cameron is trying to fool the public, and fellow MPs by arguing that he is merely bringing English and Welsh hunting laws in line with Scottish hunting legislation. He clearly thinks we are too foolish to realise that this is just a return of hunting under a different guise.
Moreover, he must believe that by doing things this way, he will back the SNP into a corner and make them feel they aren’t in a position to vote. He knows that with 56 MPs now in Westminster, the SNP are a powerful force and could stop his plans from coming to fruition. He perhaps doesn’t realise that only 35 SNP MPs were in Scottish parliament when the Scottish laws were created. The SNP have every right to vote with their consciences, and represent the people who put them in Westminster, and may now choose to look at updating Scottish policy.
For the next seven days, Network for Animals will be campaigning non-stop to save the Hunting Act. As always, we will be relying on your help. Today, we urge you to sign our petition to Calum Kerr, SNP MP to show him and his party that we are relying on the SNP to stand up to Cameron and stand up for our wildlife.