2004 Hunting Act

Thank you for contacting me about the 2004 Hunting Act.

I appreciate the strong feelings that many people have on this issue and I share your concern in ensuring the welfare of all animals.

I am aware that a cross-party alliance of MPs and farmers' groups is calling for an amendment to the Hunting Act to allow a full pack of dogs to be used to flush out foxes. It is making a proposal, which will be properly examined by the Department and, in the end, the House of Commons would have to decide.

In the event of a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act, I would vote to repeal it, on civil liberties grounds, despite the fact that I would not myself hunt.

I am sorry that this is not the response which you were seeking. I appreciate that many people have sincerely held concerns about hunting and I respect your view, but I do not share it.

Thank you once again for contacting me about this important matter.