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Coursing is dropped from ‘hunt ban’ proposals


THE PROPOSED ban on hunting with dogs would not be applied to hare coursing the Labour Government admitted last week, The statement was made last week in a consultation document when the rural affairs minister Alun Michael took legal advice on the definition and as to whether it could be reasonable applied to coursing.

The definition said that it was not a legal equivalent of hunting as the object was the chase and the dogs’ stamina or agility not the kill.

That coursing was defined as ‘recreational’ also surprise many animal welfare organisations and ‘anti’ pressure groups.

Another problem now facing the Government is the innocence pursuit by dogs of rabbits or hares which under the terms of the proposals would be outside the law. This has already been highlighted by the Burns Inquiry into hunting and by OUR DOGS and its correspondents on many occasions.

It is thought that the latest consultation will seek further definitions on the key concepts of ‘cruelty’ and ‘utility’ upon which, said Mr Michael, any attempt to ban hunting would be based.

In a brief statement issued last week the Countryside Alliance said that they found the consultation reassuring as it showed that the Government was continuing to act on evidence as did Lord Burns whose report was serialised in OUR DOGS last year by Chief Reporter Nick Mays.

Meanwhile the Countryside Alliance continues to organise for its planned march of defiance in London on Sunday September 22nd.