Strong case for lifting hunting ban

WHEN the ban on fox hunting came into force in 2005 it seemed likely more than 300 years of tradition would be wiped out. But the Conservatives have promised a free vote on the Hunting Act if they win the next election and, with their position ahead of La

WHEN the ban on fox hunting came into force in 2005 it seemed likely more than 300 years of tradition would be wiped out.

But the Conservatives have promised a free vote on the Hunting Act if they win the next election and, with their position ahead of Labour in the opinion polls, supporters of hunting are confident repeal is a probability.

It's easy to jump on the bandwagon and revile the sport, but there are a number of factors which go in favour of fox hunting and cannot be ignored.

Firstly, according to the final report of the Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs in England and Wales, commissioned by the Government, between 6,000 and 8,000 jobs are dependent to some extent on hunting. Employment as a direct result of hunting is valued at around �15.6 million.


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Secondly, foxes are pests and their numbers need to be controlled. The estimated population of foxes is said to be about 250,000 - a figure which has been stable for some time.

Hunts contribute to the maintenance of the stability of the fox population, with between 21,000 and 25,000 foxes killed by hunts each year.

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Foxes kill livestock so it is essential their numbers are controlled in order to protect the livelihoods of farmers. Hunts can therefore be said to provide financial benefits to agriculture.

If the hunting ban is not lifted, the Government will surely need to take action to control such a successful breeder. Culling would cost taxpayers thousands, whereas hunting has a positive effect on the economy - creating jobs for thousands.

Fox hunting is quintessentially British and, love it or loathe it, it has it's clear advantages. Consequently I am in favour of the ban being lifted.

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