Why we must continue to campaign for repeal of the Hunting Act 2004
A number of hunting supporters are heard to ask “Why rock the boat? Are we not getting on OK as we are’?” The answer to this must remain a resounding “No!” for the following reasons:
1. You are not alright, Jack…
It has become patently clear in countless police stations that anti-hunters have no qualms about bringing malicious accusations against masters and hunt staff who are hunting within the law. Despite the lack of successful prosecutions, our opponents still see the process of allegation and investigation as a weapon they can use against hunts. The majority of hunt followers who say that the Hunting Act should be left alone do so from the comfort of knowing that “they are alright, Jack”, they will never face such threats, but this is not a position masters and hunt staff can take. If we want hunting to continue into the future, then we must see that this iniquitous threat is removed. Without masters and hunt staff there can be no hunting.
2. Moral Integrity.
The Hunting Act is bad law. We know that we are not cruel; we know that hunting with dogs is both ethically and scientifically justified. We know that case against hunting is based on misinformation and half-truths.
If we ever stop making those points, merely because we are tired of campaigning, our opponents will portray our capitulation as a “confession” that they are in right – and then move on to the next item on the animal rights agenda with renewed vigour and the unearned glamour of success.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing (Edmund Burke)
3. The Hunting Act is not just unfair to us, it is actually bad for the Countryside.
We know that hunting with dogs is a valid wildlife management tool that should be available to farmers and land managers. We know that the Hunting Act is full of logical inconsistencies and, most importantly, it is entirely negative. It makes arbitrary and unjustifiable stipulations about what cannot be done – but contains not one word about what should be done instead. As custodians of our countryside for future generations, we have a duty to see that a law that has such negative consequences is reversed.
4. We cannot make a unilateral decision to opt out of this fight.
We are not alone in a “hunting boat”; we are sharing the “animal rights boat” with the antis and they are going to continue to rock it until everyone falls out, not just us. The “status quo”, by definition, can only be maintained if both sides are equally happy or equally unhappy. If we stop fighting and they continue, they will win. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. We must therefore continue to campaign as hard as they do just to maintain the status quo.
The politics of animal rights will continue with or without us. We must play our part.
The Threat to the Status Quo
The status quo is not acceptable. However, if the wrong Government gets elected we would face an even bigger problem and hunting could cease entirely. The Campaign to Strengthen the Hunting Act (CSHA) plans to make Hunting impossible and Maria Eagle, when Shadow Secretary for DEFRA, said; "Labour consigned fox hunting to the history books-and that’s where it belongs." To find out what they want to do to us click on the link above.
However there is an alternative. Before the 2015 General Election, Liz Truss MP, then Secretary of State for DEFRA, said publicly, “I am absolutely committed to repealing the Hunting Act. I think it is very important. It was an incredibly spiteful piece of legislation that was put in place to appease various left wing interests of the Labour party”.
Some people ask why the Conservative Government has not already brought forward a vote on repeal. The simple answer is that there are not enough supportive MPs to win a vote during this Parliament. We have one chance to have this vote, and one chance to make sure that the numbers are right. There is only one way to do this. Help elect candidates who support Repeal, ultimately resulting in a majority of MPs who support this change. You can help make this happen.
If you are concerned about the future of Hunting, don’t leave it to chance.
Don’t just complain – Campaign.
Sunset photo courtesy of Kay Thompson www.kaythompson.zenfolio.com/