Peers make last-ditch stand against hunt law

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The Government will today use the Parliament Act to force through a ban on hunting with dogs in spite of a final act of defiance last night by the House of Lords.

The Government will today use the Parliament Act to force through a ban on hunting with dogs in spite of a final act of defiance last night by the House of Lords.

Peers, led by Labour's pro-hunting Baroness Mallalieu, voted by 188 to 79 to overturn the ban on hunting agreed by the Commons 24 hours earlier. The Lords also voted in favour of a three-year delay.

MPs will be throw out the Lords' changes today and are expected to support the implementation of the ban from February. The battle will then move to the courts, with the Countryside Alliance calling for a judicial review. Hunt campaigners believe they can still prevent a ban on the grounds that it would breach the human rights of hunt supporters.

The environment minister, Lord Whitty of Camberwell, appealed in vain for peers to back down to halt the row, which has rumbled on for seven years. He said the Commons would not accept a delay of three years.

Lady Mallalieu, Countryside Alliance president, described the Bill as "rank bad", adding: "Its foundations are naked prejudice and wilful ignorance."

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