Jeremy Hunt Refuses Three Times To Say If He Thinks Fox Hunting Is Cruel

Tory leadership candidate's position branded "shocking" by Labour.
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Jeremy Hunt has repeatedly refused to say whether he thinks fox hunting is cruel.

The Tory leadership candidate has said he would vote to repeal the hunting ban as it is party of the countryside “heritage”.

Hunting with dogs was banned in 2005. A 2017 YouGov poll showed 67% of the public supported maintaining the ban, compared to 17% who wanted it overturned.

In an interview on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Thursday morning, Hunt tried to defuse the row by insisting the “law is not going to change” as there is no majority in the Commons for it.

“I was just restating the position in our manifesto from 2017 that there should be a free vote if it ever looked like that majority would change,” he said. “But it wouldn’t be my priority as prime minister.”

But asked three times if he thought fox hunting was cruel, Hunt did not answer.

“My view is a matter of public record.” he said. “I’m here to talk about the things I want to change as prime minister – that is not something that’s going to change.”

He added: ″I have never hunted and it’s not my thing.”

The RSPCA describes fox hunting as “wild animals being chased, often to the point of exhaustion, before being purposely set upon by packs of dogs”.

Sue Hayman, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said it was “shocking” that Hunt “can not bring himself to even acknowledge the barbaric cruelty of fox hunting”.

“Once again it shows this Tory government’s lack of understanding and sincerity on issues of animal welfare,” she said.

“There is overwhelming support in both rural and urban areas for keeping the ban on fox hunting that Labour was proud to bring in and will strengthen in government.”

Hunt re-opened the debate over fox hunting in an interview with the Daily Telegraph yesterday.

“I would vote to repeal the ban on fox hunting,” he said. “It is part of the countryside. And we have to recognise that in terms of the balance of the countryside. You know, it’s part of our heritage.”


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