Theresa May has scrapped plans to hold a vote on the fox hunting ban during this parliament, described as “great first step” by Brighton Hunt Saboteurs.
The conservative party originally pledged to review the Hunting Act 2004, which bans the use of dogs to hunt foxes and other wild mammals in England and Wales, in their election manifesto last year.
However, despite many supporting the repeal of the act, social media was flooded with hunt saboteurs and anti-hunt activists expressing their outrage.
Following the government losing their majority, the Prime Minister then claimed that no vote would take place until 2019, but has now shelved the vote all together. Talking to BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, there was a “clear message” against it from the public.
Since the ban, hunts now use human ‘quarries’ instead of foxes. Cross-country runners, carrying a particular scent, set off an hour before the hunt to make a trail for the dogs to follow. Despite this, many activists believe that foxes are still being killed.
A spokesperson for Brighton Hunt Saboteurs, an organisation that follows and protests hunts in and around East Sussex that they believe are secretly still hunting foxes, claim “Hunts all over the country are currently still killing foxes regularly.” The Brighton Hunt Saboteurs Facebook page contains many pictures and videos of dead foxes supposedly killed by the hunts that they have tracked down to sabotage.
The spokesperson continued, stating that the reason for the continued killing of foxes is that “there are too many loop holes in the hunting act and partly because the police, the judiciary and the Crown Prosecution Service seem to be far too close to the hunts and not interested in prosecuting them for the weekly contraventions of the existing act that we see.”
For these reasons, they think “Theresa May Dropping the Tories commitment to vote on hunting is a great first start, but they now need to tighten the hunting act if they want the hunting issue to cause them the same problems in the next parliament.”
Paul Hollis from The Coakham Bloodhounds, based in East Sussex, has told Brighton Broadcaster News: "Our bloodhounds have been bred and trained to purely hunt human quarry and if they do deviate from the intended route, the whippers-in are called upon to guide them back on course. However, due to the way these hounds are bred and trained to follow humans, they are more likely to deviate in the direction of a group of ramblers crossing the quarry's line than, say, a fox!"
The next possible time for a vote on the Hunting Act 2004, will be in 2022, providing the Conservative party win the next election.