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Thousands protest against Conservative plans to repeal fox hunting ban

'This is a national disgrace and a clear example of playing politics with wildlife,' event organiser tells The Independent

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Tuesday 30 May 2017 13:38 BST
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Thousands march on Downing St to protest fox hunting

Thousands of protesters descended on Downing Street to demonstrate against Conservative plans to repeal the ban on fox hunting.

Theresa May made the controversial pledge to allow Parliament a free vote on the ban if the Tories win June’s general election.

However the promise was heavily criticised by animal welfare groups, who staged the largest public protest of the general election campaign on Monday.

The Make Hunting History march, organised by an alliance of anti-hunt campaign groups, saw thousands take to the streets surrounding Whitehall.

Wildlife campaigner and one of the event's organisers, Dominic Dyer, said the Prime Minister will learn “the hard way” that fox hunting is “political poison”, and called for the “savagery” to be “consigned to history forever".

“This is a national disgrace and a clear example of playing politics with wildlife,” he told The Independent.

“Theresa May has no passion or interest in hunting but she is willing to see the repeal of the Hunting Act to ensure hunting and landowning groups campaign for Tory candidates during the election campaign.

"She might well return to Downing Street as Prime Minister on 9 June but her support for fox hunting could cost her seats.

"The caring, compassionate British public will not allow her to regain power at the cost of a return to the cruel killing of foxes, hares and deer with hounds."

It comes after a poll conducted for The Independent found just one in 10 people support plans to bring back fox hunting.

The survey of voters, conducted by ORB, found that 64 per cent disagree with the statement that the ban on fox hunting should be reversed, and a very high proportion (46 per cent) say they “disagree strongly”. Just 11 per cent agree with the policy, and a quarter (25 per cent) neither agree nor disagree.

The Hunting Act was passed in 2004 by the Labour then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, and outlawed the hunting with dogs of foxes and other wild mammals.

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