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HUNT BAN STILL IN THE BALANCE
Posted 1 February 2001
On Jan 17, MPs voted on the government's three-option hunting bill and came out resoundingly in favour of a total ban. 387 favoured abolition; 182 voted for a system of licensing and regulation; while 155 wanted things to remain as they are.
As we write, the Bill was due to go before the House of Lords where a ban will inevitably be rejected. It was uncertain whether their Lordships would hold out for the status quo or play devious and come out in favour of licensing - the so-called 'middle way' option whereby hunting continues but with a ticket of approval from the government. If the Lords does vote for licensing, Tony Blair, who has shown no stomach for taking on the Countryside Alliance, could decide he has the 'justification' he needs for over-turning the will of the elected chamber.
Given that the matter is unlikely to be resolved before the general election, a key pointer will be what the government includes in its manifesto. Whatever that document does or doesn't say, it is vital that maximum pressure is maintained on all politicians in the run-up to and beyond the election.
- Please write to your MP asking his/her (continued) support for a ban and pointing out that 'the middle way' is an unacceptable con.
- Please also canvass prospective parliamentary candidates.