Fox-hunting ban strongly backed, says new poll

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The Independent Online

Most people in Britain would oppose repealing the ban on hunting, shows a poll commissioned on the second anniversary of the law outlawing hunting coming into force.

The Mori poll, commissioned for the League Against Cruel Sports, the RSPCA and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, shows that only one in six people in the UK supports Tory plans to repeal the Hunting Act.

Seventy-seven per cent support the ban and 23 per cent think it should be scrapped. In the poll of 2,000 people, only 9 per cent "strongly supported the ban being scrapped". John Rolls, RSPCA director of animal welfare promotion, said: "Two years on, and the public unsurprisingly remains buoyantly in favour of the ban on what was a brutal, needless and outdated pastime. Sadly, there is a vocal minority that seems unwilling to accept the principle of democracy, but those who defy the law are finding themselves in court."

A survey for the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance suggests fox and deer numbers have fallen since the ban started. Thirty-six per cent of hunts surveyed said there were fewer foxes. Research by the Exmoor and District Deer Management Society Consensus showed a 20 per cent drop in deer numbers in 2006.

Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: "The Hunting Act has been exposed as illogical and unworkable, and this research shows it has also had a negative impact on the welfare of the fox and deer populations."