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Hunting Bill Standing Committee
- Comments made by Alun Michael MP

The Kennel Club has received a number of enquiries regarding the comments made by Alun Michael MP, during the DEFRA Standing Committee to discuss the proposed legislation on Hunting with Dogs, on February 4th.

In his remarks Mr Michael said, "I am happy to join the general praise of the work of the Kennel Club, which I visited last year. I greatly value its work. The Kennel Club has raised the issue of field trials and I have carefully considered its representations. It is difficult to find a way of avoiding the registration of field trials in relation to hares, because that would be inconsistent with the purposes for which the hunting of hares is allowed under the Bill. Of course, hunting rabbits is exempt and therefore the problem does not arise. The trials must be treated in the same way as hunting in general. That means that rabbits fall on one side of the divide and registration is not required and that, in relation to hares, the same requirements apply to trials as they do to hunting. In relation to game birds, no registration is necessary because such activities are not caught by the Bill."

The Kennel Club will be meeting with senior representatives of DEFRA on 20th February to discuss the policy intention further.

The Kennel Club is also pleased that the Minister clarified that should a wild mammal be put up accidentally then there would be no repercussions. Again from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, Alun Michael MP is quoted; "If dogs are used to flush birds to guns and a wild mammal is put up and shot, that will not be an offence because there was no intention of pursuing, and so hunting, that wild mammal. One cannot hunt by accident."