NEWS

Fox Hunting Ban Backed By 73% Of Tory Voters But Andrea Leadsom Still Considering Repeal

But Andrea Leadsom still wants to debate it.

30/09/2016 11:28 | Updated 30 September 2016

Fox hunting is growing increasingly unpopular among Conservatives - but that isn’t stopping Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom from wanting a debate to be held on repealing the ban.

Support for the ban on fox hunting among Tory voters is now at an all-time high of 73%, the Press Association reported.

The Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by animal welfare charity The League Against Cruel Sports showed Tory opposition to fox hunting is close to the 84% of the overall public who do not want a return to the sport.

The proportion of Tories who back the ban has risen from 64% in 2013 to 66% in 2014, and climbed even further to 70% in 2015.

The Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by animal welfare charity The League Against Cruel Sports showed Tory opposition to fox hunting is close to the 84% of the overall public who do not want a return to the sport.

Sandra Standbridge via Getty Images
84% of the public do not want a return to fox hunting

 

During her brief campaign for the Tory leadership earlier this year, Leadsom, who is now environment secretary, said she would “absolutely commit” to holding a vote to repeal the ban.

She added: “I think it’s not proven to be in the interest of animal welfare whatsoever.”

It was thought that the current Tory administration would drop this but, according to the Daily Telegraph, it still intends to push ahead.

A source at the Environment Department told the paper: “We stand by our manifesto commitment to give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.”

Opposition to hare hunting and deer hunting was even stronger among the general public, at 91% and 88% respectively.

Fox hunting was banned in its traditional form in England and Wales in 2004.

OLI SCARFF via Getty Images
Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom

League Against Cruel Sports chief executive, Eduardo Goncalves, said of the latest findings: “The Hunting Act made hunting wild animals with dogs for sport illegal, protecting a number of animals including foxes, hare, and deer.

“Not only would a move to legalise the cruel sport be potentially detrimental to the animals the law protects, but as today’s polling makes clear - would make no sense politically.

“It is time for Andrea Leadsom to join the rest of the country and support the hunting ban.”

He added: “Today’s polling highlights just how out of touch any move to repeal the hunting ban would be with the views held by the majority of the British public - including Conservative voters.

“The overwhelming view of electorates is that they do not want their parliamentary representatives supporting repeal.” 

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