Straw rules out banning hunting

06 March 1998

Straw rules out banning hunting

JACK STRAW, home secretary, said he saw no role for government in an anti-hunting Bill which would outlaw hunting with hounds.

Many Labour MPs thought the Government would eventually bring forward legislation after the certain failure of Michael Fosters anti-hunt Bill. his Bill returns to the Commons today, after winning massive parliamentary support in November last year.

But Mr Straw said the issue has always been treated by the Government as a Private Members Bill and he didnt see a role for Government in drafting its own legislation.

His comments rebuffed the hopes of anti-hunt campaigners looking to attach an amendment to rule out hunting to Mr Straws criminal justice Bill, to be passed in the next session of parliament.

Mr Straw has always been reluctant to support an anti-hunt Bill. If his feelings are endorsed by the Cabinet then the sport looks certain to survive.

Michael Fosters private members bill to ban hunting with hounds will
effectively die today when it reaches its report stage.

Former Conservative agriculture minister Douglas Hogg will lead five former cabinet ministers in tabling 124 separate amendments to slow progress on the bill to a snails pace. The others are Michael Heseltine, John MacGregor, Tom King and Sir Brian Mawhinney.

The government is said to be sensitive to the charge it misread the strength and depth of feeling in the countryside over the issue.

Hope for anti-hunters now clings to the so-called “middle way” approach by a cross-party group of MPs for more modest reform. Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall, leading the drive, argues her case in The Daily Telegraph.

  • Financial Times 06/02/98 page 8
  • The Times 06/02/98 page 1, page 15
  • The Guardian 06/02/98 page 11
  • The Independent 06/02/98 page 8, page 23 (The Box)
  • The Daily Telegraph 06/02/98 page 1, page 8, page 24

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