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Animal welfare legislation
jeopardised by anti-hunting MPs

A PRIVATE MEMBERS Bill to amend the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 was talked out in the House of Commons last Friday by anti-hunting MPs, seriously delaying its progress through the Houses of Parliament.

Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Öpik’s Wild Mammals (Protection) (Amendment) (No2) Bill creates a new offence of "intentionally causing undue suffering" to all wild mammals and removes the current exceptions in the 1996 Act for lawful hunting, shooting, coursing and pest control.

Alliance Chief Executive Simon Hart commented: "This piece of legislation would be an important step towards rationalising the current piecemeal and incoherent animal welfare laws relating to wild mammals and as such is supported by the Alliance because of the improvements in animal welfare which it would undoubtedly bring.

"Unfortunately last Friday’s short debate was hijacked by a handful of MPs who have once again highlighted their obsessive desire to get hunting with dogs banned at the expense of improvements to animal welfare. It is this disgraceful attitude which exposes the fact that anti-hunting MPs have no interest in animal welfare whatsoever. By jeopardising this wide ranging animal welfare measure purely to satisfy their own prejudiced agenda they are denying wild mammals improved legislative protection".