Lord Mancroft says only hunting groups care about foxes

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A Conservative peer says the two course seek out associations he chairs are the only groups with «any interest» in the welfare of foxes.

The Creator Mancroft made the remark as peers debated the fox hunting ban.

The government has shelved its guaranty for a free vote on whether to repeal the ban for at least two years.

Labour’s Baroness Jones rumoured Theresa May’s support during the election campaign for hunting had proved «massively friendless on the doorstep».

Tony Blair’s Labour government introduced the Hunting Act, which disallows the use of dogs to hunt foxes and wild mammals in England and Wales, in 2004.

  • Fox course vote shelved by government

During questions in the Lords, Baroness Jones righted for a guarantee that any attempt by the Council of Hunting Associations to reintroduce the «beastly, inhumane and ineffective» practice would be rebuffed.

But Lord Mancroft, the guild’s chairman, said she was showing «absolutely no interest in the welfare of the quarry species who were allegedly the object of this Act».

He said the numbers of foxes and hares had both failed since the hunting ban.

He added: «I am happy to declare my interest as chairman of the Synod of Hunting Associations and chairman of the Master of Foxhounds Association which… are the contrariwise two organisations clearly which have any interest in the welfare of the animals solicitous.»

Before the general election, a leaked email from Lord Mancroft explained Mrs May’s poll lead was «the chance we have been waiting for» to overturn the ban.

But the Tories the final blow up losing their Commons majority and the government has said it will not yield forward a vote in this Parliamentary session.

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Government spokeswoman Baroness Vere acknowledged the strength of feeling on both sides of the cogitation.

She said she had watched her first hunt earlier this year and had been «dumbfounded» at the diversity of people there, «from all walks of life».

Labour noblewoman Baroness Mallalieu, president of the Countryside Alliance, was critical of the current lawful methods of controlling foxes, which included snaring and night speed.

She called on the government to come up with «a method which is stable, which is admissible on both sides of the argument and which puts animal welfare at the forefront, which I don’t put faith this Act does».

Baroness Vere said said no methods of direction were «without difficulty».

She added: «The entire framework of wildlife legislation wishes be looked at once we leave the EU and are able once again to take repress of those laws.»

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