New report and footage can be viewed at www.ifaw.org/noreturntocruelty
Sir Paul McCartney pledged “no return to cruelty” as he backed an IFAW in Action campaign to protect the ban on the cruel sport of hunting with dogs.
Five years today since the Hunting Act came into force in England and Wales, Sir Paul speaks out in the new report ‘No Return to Cruelty’ by IFAW in Action, a part of the global International Fund for Animal Welfare movement.
He said: “When the cruel and unnecessary ‘sport’ of hunting with dogs was banned, I, along with the majority of the British public, backed this historic victory for wildlife. The scenes described in this report of how animals were hunted down and savaged with dogs for fun before the Hunting Act 2004 was passed are simply barbaric and shocking and should remain a part of Britain’s past, not its future.”
Conservative Party leader David Cameron has pledged to allow MPs a free vote on whether to repeal the Act if he becomes Prime Minister. This is despite the fact that a return to hunting would be completely out of step with the views of the majority of the British public, including his own party.
Polling by Ipsos MORI* in September 2009 found strong cross-party support for maintaining the ban, including almost twice as many intending Conservative supporters backing the Act as those that want it repealed (62% vs 33%). Overall, 75% of the British public do not want fox hunting to be made legal again.
IFAW in Action’s new report has been sent to prospective parliamentary candidates, urging them to remember the horrific cruelty inflicted on foxes, deer, hares and mink before the introduction of the Hunting Act and to protect the ban. IFAW in Action has also released a three-minute compilation of video footage showing examples of hunting cruelty before the ban.
Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW in Action, said: “The vast majority of the British public have long opposed animal cruelty and do not want the archaic practice of chasing and killing animals for fun to return to our countryside. We urge prospective parliamentary candidates to read our report and view the footage and remember why this vital ban was introduced.”
IFAW in Action is also urging members of the public to read the report and view the footage at http://www.ifaw.org/noreturntocruelty and to ask their local parliamentary candidates where they stand on the issue.
When hunting with dogs was banned in 2004 there was already overwhelming evidence to show that hunting with dogs is cruel. Today that evidence is even stronger with the release of a new report this month by Professor Donald Broom of Cambridge University.
Professor Broom describes the evidence of cruelty in hunting with dogs as “compelling”, with foxes, deer, hares and mink experiencing considerable fear and distress when being pursued by hounds or when being dug out.
Sir Paul McCartney added: “Don’t let politicians bring back cruelty. Help IFAW keep cruelty out of the countryside and back the ban on hunting with dogs.”