You may have seen reports that the Government intends to amend the Hunting Act. The proposed amendments do not go as far as Repeal, but they are a reasonable response to the current political situation and would represent a significant improvement on the current law.

We understand that the amendments would:

  •   remove the arbitrary two dog limit in exempt Hunting;
  •   extend the use of a dog below ground to flush out and shoot foxes for the purpose of preventing serious damage to livestock, not just for protecting game birds;
  •   allow the use of dogs to track diseased wild mammals, as well as injured ones.

If the amendments are passed it would therefore be legal to manage foxes and some other wild mammals using packs of hounds. The requirement to take reasonable steps to shoot will, however, remain as it is.

Hunting, however, is a free vote issue for individual MPs and just because the Government has announced these amendments it is by no means certain they will be passed. The changes will be debated and voted on just once on Thursday 16th July, in just seven days’ time. We therefore need you to act urgently to lobby MPs. There are three things every Hunt MUST do:

1) Ensure that everyone connected to your Hunt takes part in the Countryside Alliance e lobby http://www.countryside-alliance.org/ca/campaigns-hunting/take-action-lobby-your-mp-on-the-hunting-act the message has changed to reflect the Government’s announcement so people who have already emailed their MP should do so again.

2)  Get Hunt supporters to fill in and send all the lobbying postcards that have been delivered to your Red List/Senior Master.

3)  Organise for two people to travel to London to lobby MPs from each constituency associated with your Hunt. The Countryside Alliance will be in contact to facilitate this, but please help them by emailing contacts to hunting@countryside-alliance.org

We cannot stress enough the importance and urgency of these tasks. To have full effect they must all be completed by Sunday. We have just 96 hours to secure a better future for Hunting.