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North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale slams fox hunting ahead of vote in House of Commons

Sir Roger Gale has described an attempt to repeal the Hunting Act and bring back fox hunting as "completely out of step with the wishes of the majority".

A free vote in the House of Commons next Wednesday will decide whether to approve changes that animal charities believe would give a green light to fox hunting.

Sir Roger Gale says foxhunting is "regressive and unpleasant"
Sir Roger Gale says foxhunting is "regressive and unpleasant"

Sir Roger is president of Conservative Animal Welfare and has long campaigned against the hunting of wild mammals with dogs as patron of Blue Fox.

He said: "First, while undertakings may have been given this measure is not, unlike a promise to ban the use of wild animals in circuses, a manifesto commitment.

"Second, the hunting of wild animals with dogs has been consigned to the dustbin of history, along with cockfighting and bear-baiting, and the idea that this clock ought to be turned back is regressive and unpleasant.

"Third, the suggestion that hunting is a way, or the only way, of controlling foxes is risible. In my own rural constituency we do not have a hunt and yet foxes are controlled perfectly well without tearing them to pieces in the name of sport."

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale
North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale

"Fourth, dire predictions that hundreds of horses and hounds would have to be destroyed if hunting animals in this way was banned have proved completely unfounded as well as suggestions that hundreds of rural jobs would be lost and that the countryside would be returned to an unmanaged wilderness.

"In fact more people are now riding and following drag hunts then ever followed hounds hunting foxes precisely because no animal is killed at the end of the chase.

"Finally, while there is certainly an issue with urban foxes that are often diseased the hunts do nothing to help eradicate that problem. I know of no attempt to introduce the Clapham Common Hunt!

"It is time to recognise that foxhunting has had its day.

"I hope and expect that on a genuinely free vote and without behind-the-scenes pressure the measure will be defeated."

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