MPs to vote on changes to fox hunting laws

8th July 2015

MPs will be asked to vote on changes to existing laws on fox hunting in England and Wales as early as next week.

The government will reportedly give MPs a free vote on whether to bring existing practice in England and Wales "into line" with that in Scotland.

Scottish hunts can use an unlimited number of dogs to flush out foxes but in England and Wales two are allowed.

David Cameron said he would give MPs the chance to "debate an issue and then have a vote".

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: "I don’t know what everyone else came here for but I think that’s quite a good idea."

The prime minister gave a manifesto pledge to allow a free vote on repealing the ban on hunting with dogs.

The controversial ban came into force in 2005, although it remains legal to hunt with two hounds to flush out a fox and certain other animals to a gun for pest control purposes as long as they are shot as quickly as possible.

The Spectator suggested MPs would be given a free vote on the proposed changes before the start of the summer recess.

If they were approved, it said the 2005 Hunting Act could be amended by statutory instrument by the end of the year.

Downing Street has not confirmed the timing of any future vote, but a spokeswoman said the prime minister has "made clear he believes in the freedom to hunt".

The government, she added, remains committed to its pledge to give MPs a vote on completely repealing the hunting act.

North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

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