14 December 2000
‘Public opposes hunt ban’

By FWi staff

PUBLIC opinion is turning against an outright ban on fox hunting, according to a new survey.

A study – conducted by NOP for the ITN Powerhouse programme – showed that 51% of people oppose a complete ban, reports The Times.

Previous studies had shown that the majority of people favoured a ban.

On Monday, MPs will have the first opportunity to discuss the three options available when the vote on the new Hunting Bill.

Choices include a complete ban, licensing of the sport by a new statutory body or self-regulation.

Meanwhile, The Times says hunt supporters fear Labour is preparing to leave a questionmark over legislation outlawing the sport.

It says most MPs accept that the Hunting Bill is unlikely to reach the statute books before the next election.

The newspaper says that, while MPs would overwhelmingly support a ban, the House of Lords would back a compromise outlawing some “abuses”.

If Labour includes a plan to introduce a ban in its next manifesto, the Lords would be obliged to eventually fall into line.

However, The Times says Labour is more likely to promise only that it will reintroduce its options Bill in the new Parliament.