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Economy Economy

Let parliament vote on the Hunting Act

Last updated: 10:27am 9 August 2019

We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.26

Our verdict

The Hunting Act was established in 2004 “to make provision about hunting wild mammals with dogs; to prohibit hare coursing; and for connected purposes”. The key point is that it bans the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales but it is not an absolute prohibition and permits some types of hunting if an exemption applies, making the bill controversial.

The wording of this policy promise is a bit tricky as it does not directly say how or when parliament will be given the opportunity, and to what means.

In January 2018, the government came out saying that they were not going to put the bill to a vote, citing public concern as the primary reason. In an official video interview, the then Prime Minister said “I think there was a clear message about that and that’s why I say there won’t be a vote on fox hunting during this parliament”.

According to a BBC article published on the day of the announcement, there was a suggestion that the bill may be revisited in 2019. However, to date there has been no evidence to suggest that the bill we be re-presented to parliament.

Given the direct nature of the announcement we can say that this policy is ‘broken’.

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There's always room for debate

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