04 June 1999
Government looks to hunting fudge

THE government is seeking to strike a compromise over hunting without the need to resort to legislation.

It is examining plans for a new statutory code of conduct, policed by an independent authority, which could licence individual hunts and place new limits on hunting seasons.

Ministers are moving cautiously in an attempt to secure consensus among Labour backbenchers, many of whom demand and outright ban.

They fear an outright ban would unnecessarily anger rural voters and could prompt a repeat of last years Countryside March when 250,000 people demonstrated against the government in London.

A recent book, reviewed in The Daily Telegraph, says there is a dangerous mixture of sentimentality, ignorance and envy among the suburban middle classes which is at the root of the desire to ban hunting and other field sports.

The same book, Another Country, claims the recent spate of food scares has unfairly given the impression that the country is populated by “filthy, featherbedded profit-driven farmers” who make money at the expense of public health.

  • The Times 04/06/02/99 page 1, page 4
  • The Daily Telegraph 04/06/99 page 7