Graham Allen MP guest column: Government need to listen on animal welfare

editorial image

A lot of my constituents have got in touch with me this week about Fox Hunting, outraged that the Government have threatened to relax the laws about hunting foxes with packs of dogs. I have strongly campaigned against Fox Hunting for years and am equally concerned about these threats.

The Hunting Act as it currently stands is working. It should be enforced properly and I will vigorously oppose any attempts by the Government to appeal or amend it in any way. There can be no place in a civilised society for animal cruelty. I believe it is an outdated and barbaric ‘sport’, and I strongly believe that the vast majority of the British public also support the ban on hunting with hounds that was introduced by the previous Labour Government in 2004.

The current Government, however, made a commitment in the Coalition Agreement to hold a vote on repealing the Hunting Act in this Parliament. This has caused serious concern among animal rights supporters and organisations such as The League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA who have campaigned against the repeal, and among many of my constituents in Nottingham North.

It is important that the Hunting Act, like other laws, is properly enforced. I’m really pleased that there have been 378 successful prosecutions since the Act came in.

This is another example of how far out of touch the Coalition Government is from the British public. It does not surprise me that the Conservatives are prioritising an archaic, barbaric sport instead of focussing on the important issues that are affecting communities like mine across the country; rising energy prices, protecting public services and addressing the cost of living crisis.

First the badgers and now the foxes – it’s time this Government started to listen to the people when it comes to animal welfare.