Election special – Hunting

With a General Election looming on 7 May, we asked the political parties to set out their policies on eight key rural issues that affect the countryside in 2015. Here we ask - do you believe that the ban on hunting with hounds should be repealed?

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Do you believe that the ban on hunting with hounds should be repealed?

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CONSERVATIVE

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Hunting evokes strong views on both sides and the issue is a matter of personal conscience. We want to put a motion with a free vote before the House of Commons on whether the Hunting Act 2004 should be repealed when Parliamentary time allows. If Parliament were to vote in favour of repeal, the Government would introduce a Repeal Bill.

GREEN

The Green Party is fundamentally opposed to all blood-sports. We oppose the killing of or infliction of pain or suffering upon, animals in the name of sport or leisure. We want to extend the 1911 Protection of Animals Act to prohibit shooting, snaring, coursing and various other abuses of our animal population.

LABOUR

No. Labour has a proud record on animal welfare – we introduced the Hunting Act and it is safe in our hands. It says everything about the Conservatives that, at a time when there are a million people dependent on food banks in our country, their priority is to bring back hunting.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT

There are no proposals before Parliament to amend the Hunting Act, and Liberal Democrats have not agreed to make any amendments. However if there is at some point a free vote on whether or not it should be repealed, that would be for individual MPs to vote on.

PLAID CYMRU

Plaid Cymru allows its elected members to vote freely on matters relating to the banning of fox hunting. The most recent vote took place in 2004, in which the majority of our MPs voted against the ban.

SNP

The inhumane practice of hunting with dogs has no place in modern Scotland. The Protection of Wild Mammals Act, which came into force in 2002, ensures that animals in Scotland, like foxes and hares, are protected from cruel practices and we have no intention of repealing this law.

UKIP

UKIP has no plans to repeal the ban nationally. However we believe strongly in local democracy, so our policy is for this matter to be decided by local referendums on a county basis.