THE ALL-PARTY Middle Way group has launched a petition calling for the Welsh Assembly to be given the power to amend the Hunting Act as it applies in Wales.
The petition, which was the brainchild of smallholder Nerys Evans, has already won the backing of NFU Cymru, Farmers Union of Wales, Countryside Alliance, National Sheep Association and the Country Land and Business Association.
Lembit Opik, co-chairman of the Middle Way Group, told journalists attending the Royal Welsh Show that he believed Wales should have the right to decide for itself how hunting was dealt with in Wales.
“We are not looking to have the legislation amended because we don’t like it, but because it has led to an increase in the unnecessary suffering of wild animals and increased problems for farmers.”
The group has pointed out that this year many farmers lost more lambs than usual during lambing because the fox population is growing.
Adrian Simpson, Countryside Alliance regional director for Wales, said it was ridiculous that the assembly was responsible for welfare but powerless to intervene on the hunting issue.
“This is an opportunity for the WA to start acting in the best interests of farmers here in Wales.”