Labour Has Vowed To Strengthen The Law Banning Fox Hunting If It Wins The Next Election

More than 400 people have been prosecuted since the legislation was passed in 2010.
Andrew Milligan via PA Wire/PA Images

A Labour government would strengthen the law banning fox hunting with dogs, the party has declared.

At least 438 people have been prosecuted for breaking the legislation since 2010.

But Labour says that is it wins the next election, they would tighten the existing law to ban so-called “trail hunting”, which allows hounds to follow a scent laid down with a rag.

The practice is often accused of being a “smokescreen” for illegal activity.

Although the Conservatives have ditched any moves to repeal the ban on fox hunting, they have no plans to strengthen the law.

Jim McMahon, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said:The Hunting Act has been successful in bringing to justice hundreds of criminals who have been intent on causing cruelty to animals.

“The government must do more to close the loopholes that allow people to break the law, and to consign hunting to the history books.

“Labour is the party of animal welfare and in government we will go further to protect animal welfare by putting an end to trail hunting.”

A government spokesman said: “The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs and anyone who believes that an offence has taken place should report the matter to the police.

“Those found guilty under the act are subject to the full force of the law.”

Labour’s vow came as hunts prepare to take part in their traditional Boxing Day parades.

More than 200 hunts are to parade routes through high streets up and down the UK as they have done for hundreds of years, with meets taking place at 10.45am before following artificial trails laid across the countryside.


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