Save the Hunting Act: ‘A return to hunting would be a return to cruelty’

With just hours to go until MPs vote on whether the Hunting Act will be diluted the RSPCA is making a final call for members of the public to support moves to keep the act untouched.

The Government is planning on using a statutory instrument to diminish the Hunting Act citing ‘pest control’. If given the go-ahead this would most likely result in the reintroduction of fox hunting across both England and Wales – which the RSPCA strongly opposes.

This gallery of images released by the Society shows the devastating effect that a return to hunting would have on not just foxes, but the dogs that are used in the pursuit of animals too.

David Bowles, assistant director of public affairs of the RSPCA, said: “The public should be under no illusion, this is not about pest control. The Government have given no evidence to show the Hunting Act has not worked for pest control so this is about killing foxes for sport. This  move by the Government is the first step in dismantling the Hunting Act.

“If given the go-ahead this would be the first time an animal welfare law was dismantled. It could see the UK Government losing its leading position in the world on animal welfare. Is that how this Government want to be remembered?.

“If the Government get their way hunting with a full pack of hounds could make a return to the British countryside. They are attempting to railroad this amendment through Parliament without public opinion being taken into account. The fact of the matter is that 80% of the British public are opposed to fox hunting. If this was truly democratic then this would be taken into consideration.

“With over 370 people found guilty the Hunting Act has been one of the most successful pieces of wildlife law, both in terms of numbers of people taken to court and the success rate in convicting them.

“Dog baiting and cockfighting are rightly illegal and the Government need to consign fox hunting to the same historical footnote?  

“We have just hours left to save the Hunting Act and we are urging members of the public to make a stand and tell their MP exactly why it is so important it is left untouched.

“A return to hunting would be a return to cruelty.”Members of the public who oppose the changes to the Hunting Act are being urged to visit to make their voice heard.

Notes to editors

Images are available – please contact the press office on 0300 123 0244/0288

Link to video footage available at: