An increasing number of Tories in the Commons say they will be voting with their conscience to stop a return of the blood sport outlawed a decade ago.
The level of opposition among Conservatives who are against hunting with dogs is far higher than the anti-blood sport lobby first hoped when David Cameron included a “free vote” pledge during the election campaign.
Already a number of ministers, including Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, are pledged to vote against any attempt to overturn the current hunting-with-dogs legislation.
As Queen rock legend Brian May launched Team Fox – a coalition of anti cruel sports organisations – in the Commons today, more Conservatives said they would vote against a change in the law.
One of them was Central Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries who said that a hunt-master in her constituency had asked her not to vote against the current laws because they were working well for good riders who prefer “drag hunting”.
Other Conservative MPs opposed to fox hunting say they are keeping their powder dry before revealing their voting intentions but stress they are coming under no whip pressure to support the sport’s return.
“I believe that up to two-thirds of the House are against any attempt to repeal the law,” said one MP.
There is also growing belief at Westminster that the hunt vote could be held before any move has been taken to resolve the so-called “West Lothian question” that would see only English MPs legislating on English issues.
If the fox hunt vote is held before Scottish MPs no longer have a say, it could see dozens of vehemently anti-hunting SNP members of the House also having an opportunity to scupper the 2005 Hunting Act.
Among the organisations that have joined Team Fox are the Save Me Trust, League Against Cruel Sports and Network for Animals.
“The Hunting Act is the most successful piece of wild animal welfare legislation in England and Wales and out performs all other wild mammal legislation, having both the highest number of convictions since it was introduced and highest conviction rate,” say Team Fox.
“Many more people have been deterred from chasing and killing foxes, hares, deer and mink for pleasure. This is something to celebrate.”
Article taken from: http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/587844/MPs-fox-hunting-attempt