POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK?

  • 1.2K

More than 300 hunts gathering for Boxing Day met on Saturday amid growing parliamentary opposition from Conservative MPs to repealing the ban on hunting foxes with packs of hounds.

The traditional outings, expected to attract around 250,000 riders and supporters, are usually portrayed by the Countryside Alliance as a symbol of mass protest against the Hunting Act which came into force in 2005.

But Blue , the increasingly confident lobby group coordinating Tory anti-bloodsports activists, claims that nearly 60 Conservative MPs would vote against proposals to weaken the ban.

The traditional outings are usually portrayed by the Countryside Alliance as a symbol of mass protest against the Hunting Act. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

An attempt in July by the government to permit more than two dogs – the current limit – to be deployed to flush foxes out of cover in England and Wales failed when the SNP to vote against the change.

Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet, president of Conservative Animal Welfare and patron of Blue Fox, said: “The hunting of wild animals with dogs has been consigned to the dustbin of history, along with cockfighting and bear-baiting, and the idea that this clock ought to be turned back is regressive and unpleasant.”

Lorraine Platt, Blue Fox’s founder, said: “There is a growing intolerance of wildlife for sport, whether it be a noble lion in Africa or a humble hare here in England.” Blue Fox’s patrons include the minister for sport, Tracey Crouch, and justice ministers Dominic Raab and Caroline Dinenage.

The welcomed the surge in support among Conservative MPs as proof that repeal efforts are doomed. New figures from Ipsos Mori demonstrate that public opposition to hunting is increasing. According to Lacs’s annual poll, 83% of respondents objected to making foxhunting with packs of hounds legal again. Opposition to legalising foxhunting has risen from 72% in 2008 to 83% this year.

Tom Quinn, director of campaigns for Lacs, said: “Opposition to legalising foxhunting is higher than it has ever been. We believe this reflects that as a nation the vast majority of us are repulsed at the thought of killing animals for sport. Over eight out of 10 rural residents are opposed to legalisation of foxhunting; a dramatic increase in just the last three years. This destroys the hunts’ argument that it’s just ‘urbanites’ or ‘animal rights’ people who oppose hunting because they don’t understand it.”

The number of prosecutions of hunts has recently fallen away, reflecting partially the difficulties animal rights groups experience in bringing prosecutions. No new charges were brought against organised hunts last year, according to the Countryside Alliance. Since the act came into force, there have been only 24 successful prosecutions of hunt members.

In its Boxing Day message, the alliance said as many as 83% of hunts have the same number of members, or more, since the act came into force. The Countryside Alliance’s chief executive, Tim Bonner, said: “It’s clear that the Hunting Act is in tatters. It was never about foxes or animal welfare but rather an attempt to eradicate hunts and the communities that surround them. Support for hunts is as strong as ever and the Hunting Act is mostly being used to prosecute poaching offences. The last case to be brought under the Hunting Act collapsed earlier this month. Those opposed to hunting are getting more and more desperate and resorting to ever more drastic measures to try to secure a conviction.”

This article was first published by The Guardian on 26 Dec 2015.

We invite you to share your opinion whether the ban on should be relaxed in the UK? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page:

Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Thank you for voting.


Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter




Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

  • 1.2K

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
jennifer wilkes
jennifer wilkes

In Ohio we chase the fox but don’t kill it, isn’t it the same in the UK?

Karen Emanuelson
Karen Emanuelson

Nope, sadly, they refused to go “no kill” the way most foxhunting clubs have done in the USA.

Elaine Gabelhouse

Sadly we haven't banned inhumane killing of sheep, cattle etc.

Marilyn-Brian Ashman

It needs to be Permanently "Banned"!

Patrick Gionet

Men on horseback with a dozen or more dogs chasing a scared fox until it's torn apart is not hunting . It's cruel and those bullies should find something better to do . Bunch of wimps I say .

Andrea Mitzi Taylor

Fox hunting is one of the most sickening acts that humans have ever introduced. It is a barbaric pastime, involving only those rich enough to afford owning horses and/or packs of dogs, and has no place in this modern society. It also gives the illegal trappers and shooters the opportunity to torture and maim animals. This ban should be enforced more strongly, fining the criminals who break it substantial amounts, not paltry figures that they simply laugh at.

Clare Morris

I'd be happy to see people hunt with dogs but no live quarry purely for the sport aspect, but I think hunting as a bloodsport should be illegal. I also think that people who do hunt should pay for any damage caused.

Maureen Ellen McGill

Such medieval babaric practices have no place in today's world.

John Penfold

Definitely not.
Pets ripped to shreds.
Farmers crops trampled.
Posh idiots in fancy dress.
Does anybody want this idiosy in the 21st century !!!!

Val Clifton

Xxthe scum should never have got away with it for so long !!!!

Glennis Rodgers

Hunting is the ethos of the schoolyard bully, the Flashman mentality, the strong bodied, weak minded, the coward. Sitting on horseback watching, taking pleasure from the struggles of a small creature in it's last throes of life. Dressed in their finery haughtily looking down. Wiping blood of the eviscerated animal across the faces of small children, trained from a young age to follow in their parents blood stained footsteps. This should be banned outright or at least all hounds to be muzzled with severe penatites and a total ban for any hunt who doesn't abide by this legislation. Hunting belongs… Read more »

Rita Napier

If, as the hunt supporters say, this is pest control, how is ripping apart half a dozen live foxs keeping numbers down? If indeed they are pests, shoot them humainly. We banned inhumane killing of sheep, cattle etc, we banned dog fighting, cock fighting and the like, so how is this a humane act of anything?

Tara Wikramanayake

Cruel, Cruel, Cruel.

Tracey Newbold

The 2004 ban should be tightened if anything. Fox hunting is barbaric.

Lina Mukovozova


Steve Cann

This atrocious 'sport' needs to remain consigned to the history books, & the bloodthirsty morons who participate in it & breaking the law need to be treated with the same level of disgust as paedophiles.
There is no place in a modern, educated & civilized society for this – & the law needs to come down hard on those who break it.

Vincent Gilly

Should be Completely outlawed cruel and barbaric so called sport

Lynda Bryant

Never. And the police need to be arresting those breaking the law by hunting illegally. Instead of standing by condoning it. They're paid to catch criminals, so go and catch some hunters, please.

Iain Gibson

Considering that hunt supporters are doing their utmost to influence polls on wildlife sites, it is quite remarkable that 86% of those who have voted so far are in favour of the ban continuing. However this is actually probably slightly less than we might have expected, and along with other signs suggests that Focusing on Wildlife may be one of the sites now being targeted by coordinated action. This was even more evident on the recent grouse shooting poll. There is nothing undemocratic about this effect – the poll is open to anyone – but I do find it slightly… Read more »

Terence Howell

Only Physcopaths would want to see animals screaming in agony while being ripped to pieces by dogs.

Susan Evans

I am sick of Police protecting The Hunt! There is enough video evidence of illegal fox hunting, but Police ignore it! There is no room in Society for this blood thirsty,barbaric sport!!!

Rodney Hale

Tormenting and killing animals for fun under the guise of "wildlife management" has no place in a modern, civilised society.

Gillian Cowlam Wigfield

Ditch this archaic cruelty now! It has no point other than cruelty, if you like that

Katie Bessant

A sick blood sport done by tiny brained morons who take pleasure in anothers death.

Susan Frudd

It's outdated and barbaric and must never be relaxed…

Jacqueline Wales

Never it belongs in the past, leave it there

Gemma Hicks

Absolutely not!!! Hunting is disgusting. A past time of the heartless and cruel. I sincerely hope there's a special place in hell for those who enjoy torturing animals!

Johanne Deverrick

Absolutely not, it needs strengthening!!!!

Cori Ryan

No the law shouldn't be relaxed – it should be upheld! I am sick of seeing illegal hunting being ignored by the police…

Phillip Anderton

Absolutely NO WAY!

Alicia Harvey

Should be toughed and anybody found breaking it, should be prosecuted and the hunt that is prosecuted should be disbanded.

Alicia Harvey

Should be toughed and anybody found breaking it, should be prosecuted and the hunt that is prosecuted should be disbanded.

Alicia Harvey

Should be toughed and anybody found breaking it, should be prosecuted and the hunt that is prosecuted should be disbanded.

Cat Vincent

Never in a month of Sundays should it be relaxed. Foxhunting with dogs is an archaic 'sport' enjoyed only by the idle rich, most of whom classify it as a jolly good excuse for a mad gallop across country. Most of them would do anything to avoid witnessing the kill. Cowards at heart.

Deborah Irish Cornaire


Karen Lyons Kalmenson

need a ban on cruel and stupid too!!!!!

Leigh Lofgren

absolutely not – must never be allowed. Barbarians still

Jany Wiet


Hilary Morrison

Relaxed? NO keep the ban.

Hilary Morrison

Relaxed? NO keep the ban, drag hunt if you wish but don’t rip an animal to pieces in the name of sport.

Carole Shorney

Busy trying to get the link…