The British Association for Shooting and Conservation has today released a statement proclaiming its opposition to the Hunting Act.
The Act, which was introduced in 2004 following intense lobbying from animal rights activists, banned the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales. It doesn’t, however, forbid the use of dogs for ‘flushing out’, nor does it cover drag hunting, where dogs follow an artificial scent.
In view of the pending free vote of MPs on the potential repeal of the ban, BASC chairman Alan Jarrett has issued a statement of behalf of the Association, supporting the case for the repeal of the Hunting Act:
“BASC strongly opposes the Hunting Act, and believes land owners and managers should be able to choose the most effective methods of pest and predator control for their circumstances.
“The new government has committed to a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act. The Countryside Alliance, which represents hunting, is working with Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum as part of that process.
“Resolution of this issue is long overdue. BASC will continue to oppose attacks on legitimate country sports from whatever quarter they may arise.”
The Hunting Act came into force on 18 February 2005. The pursuit of foxes with hounds was banned two years earlier in Scotland by the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002. Such hunting remains legal in Northern Ireland.