‘Westminster has better things to do than repeal Hunting Act’

The UK Government’s sports minister has suggested Westminster has “better things to be concerned with” than fulfilling ministers’ pledge to hold a vote on repealing the Hunting Act.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch. Picture: Getty Images
Sports minister Tracey Crouch. Picture: Getty Images

Tracey Crouch branded fox-hunting a “pursuit from the past” that should be “consigned to history” as Boxing Day hunts were due to get under way today, despite the results of a survey that suggests more than 80 per cent of the public oppose legalising hunting with dogs again.

The activity was banned in England and Wales by the Labour government in 2004.

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The Conservative Party’s 2015 General Election manifesto promised to “give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time”.

An attempt to relax the law was abandoned earlier this year after the SNP signalled they would join Labour and Tory opponents in the division lobbies, rather than abstaining because the change would not affect Scotland.

Ms Crouch is a patron of the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting group, known as Blue Fox.

In a statement issued through it she said: “Fox hunting is a pursuit from the past and like the overwhelming majority of the population I believe that is where it should stay, consigned to history.

“I believe that the legislation as it stands today requires better enforcement.

“Parliament has better things to be concerned with than bringing back hunting foxes with hounds.”