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supportfoxhunting.co.uk - The biggest independent support hunting site in the UK. Site last updated: Wednesday 6th May 2009
Welcome to Support Fox Hunting, now incorporating Support Game Shooting.

Use the links above to find information about hunting &shooting, the latest news, as well as background and kids information.


Support Hunting Association

The Support Hunting Association is one of the UK's most prominent pro-hunting organisations, now incorporating issues related to Game Shooting, Fox Hunting and Angling.
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Facts & Figures - On hunting in general
Newspaper Articles - Hunting news from the press
Political Hunting Views - Political party & MPs views
Hunting Bill - The latest information
The Scottish ban - A full guide to the ban.

News Centre - Visit our Brand New News Centre
Latest Hunting News - All the latest hunting news
View from the Press - Hunting news from the press
  

Have you seen these pages?
Police View of a hunting ban - Two chief constables voice their concern on a ban on hunting.
Timelines -On the current Hunting Bill, the attempts to ban hunting, and on the ban in Scotland.
Hunting vs. Human Rights - Parliament has advised that the Hunting Bill is incompatible with the Human Rights Act.

Quotes

The ban has guaranteed that the time and money invested by the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA has increased animal suffering. We told them this would happen. This rise in suffering since the ban is the cost of ignoring that warning!
Daily Telegraph
3 May 2005.

Numerous police officers accompanied the more than 250 hunts which took place yesterday, the first day that the sport became illegal. Despite the friendly exchanges between officers and huntsmen and women, the presence of the police posed a question: what public good were they trying to uphold?
Daily Telegraph
20 February 2005.
The attempts to ban hunting over the last 12 years

1992
Labour MP Kevin McNamara proposes a bill to make Hunting with dogs illegal. The Wild Mammals (Protection) Bill is defeated on its second reading.

1993
Labour MP Tony Banks fails to get his Fox Hunting (Abolition) Bill through Parliament.

1995
Another Labour MP, John McFall attempts to ban Hunting with dogs in his private members bill. At the same time, Kevin McNamara's bill passes the second reading, but does not pass the Lords.

1997: May
Labour win the 1997 General Election, announcing "...greater protection for wildlife and new measures to promote animal welfare, including a free vote on hunting with hounds".

1997: November 5th
Labour MP Michael Foster delivers a private members bill to ban hunting with dogs. However, Parliamentary time on the legislation is refused.

1998: March 1st
The Foster bill passes its second reading, however the Countryside Alliance organises the 'Countryside March'. An estimated 250,000 Hunt supporters march on London, bringing it to a standstill. Its a success...

1998: March 13th
...The bill 'runs out of time' in the report stage in the Commons, and Michael Foster withdraws it.

1999: July
Prime Minister Tony Blair makes a surprise announcement on BBC Question Time that 'hunting will be banned before the next election'. The likely motive of which could be the donation of over £1million to the Labour Party since 1997 by the Political Animal Lobby (PAL). He defends his actions saying, "We are acting on this matter on a point of principle. It is a policy that is supported by the vast majority of the British people. The donations have followed the policy, not the policy the donations."

1999: September
Hunt Supporters set up the 'Independent Supervisory for Hunting', to ensure 'proper and humane' hunting. At the same time, Tony Blair goes quite on his ban pledge - saying that the Queen's speech may not include a Hunting Bill.

1999: November 11th
The government announces its support for a backbencher bill to ban hunting with dogs.

1999: November 14th
Jack Straw (the then home secretary) launches an independent inquiry - chaired by Lord Burns, to look at fox hunting and the effects that any ban might have.

2000: June
The Burns report is published - Click Here for the Main Points.

2000: July
As a result of the Burns Inquiry, Jack Straw puts forward a bill with five alternatives: a total ban on hunting; a limited ban; regional referendums on a ban; licensed hunting or retaining the status quo.

2000: December 8th
A Hunting Bill comes before parliament, a month later MPs vote 399 to 155 to ban hunting, rejecting the licensing option, 382 to 182.

2001: January
The worst of the countryside problems hits, Foot and Mouth sweeps the country - Hunting is suspended.

2001: February
The December 8th bill clears the commons, by a majority of nearly 180. Meanwhile, The Countryside Alliance call off a proposed march after the disastrous outbreak of Foot & Mouth.

2001: March
The Lords debate the December 8th bill rejecting a total ban by 317 to 68, licensing by 202 to 122 and vote to keep the status quo by 249 to 108. The bill is later 'lost' as a result of the general election.

2001: May 16th
Labour announce in the election manifesto that a "free vote will be held" to try and reach a conclusion on the issue.

2001: December
Hunting resumes after the foot & mouth outbreak - some say that this month will be the last start of the season.

2002: February
The Scottish Parliament bans Fox Hunting in Scotland - a tragedy for hunters in the country and a big blow to the Scottish countryside.

2002: February 27th
At prime minister's questions Tony Blair confirms that there will be a vote on banning hunting. The next day's papers set out the government's plans to hold a vote before the Easter recess. The move is seen as a reward to Labour MPs for their support for the transport minister, Stephen Byers - The Guardian.

2002: March 18th
Another Hunting Bill is debated, other government bills are scrapped to make way for it, shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin comments "[this is a] worrying indication of the government's incompetence and sense of priorities". MPs vote 386 to 175 to ban hunting, the Prime Minister himself abstained - however, the Government announces its support for the 'middle-way'.

2002: March 19th
Again, the Lords are left to see sense and back licensed hunts by 366 to 59 - a huge difference from the vote in February 2001, and vote 331 to 74 to reject a total ban.
'Meanwhile senior backbencher Gerald Kaufman threatens to withdraw the Labour party whip if the will of the Commons is not upheld and a ban not introduced.' - The Guardian. He's still a Labour MP today.

2002: March 21st
Urban MP, Alun Michael (who also incidentally happens to be the rural affairs minister), threatens the Lords with the Parliament Act. This is not used.

The Countryside March, September 2003. Click For the Full Size Image. (This image is not our copyright.)
Click on the photo for a larger version.
2002: September
Countryside demonstrators enter the record books for the second time: over four hundred thousand protestors march on London, in what was the largest public demonstration in UK history - breaking their own record set in 1998. The Countryside Alliance organised march was to protest at the treatment of the countryside, as well as the latest proposals to ban hunting with dogs. (The two Countryside Alliance organised marches were the biggest public demonstrations in UK history, until the anti-war protest on the 15th February 2003.)

2002: October 9th
Iain Duncan-Smith, the then leader of the Conservatives, announces for the first time that his party would give MPs a chance to reverse any ban on hunting if elected.

2002: November
Through the Queen's Speech, the government announce that the issue of hunting will be 'looked at again, with a compromise to be found'.

2002: December
The Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael announced the government's latest plans for hunting in parliament, they included banning some types of hunting and licensing others. Later on in the month, MPs voted in favour of the bill, however they vowed to strengthen the bill to make it all but impossible to hunt with hounds.

2003: February
The Hunting Bill finished passing through the House of Commons and entered the Committee Stage, where it was debated and adapted by both sides. After finishing the Committee stage the Bill was 'shelved' until after the war on Iraq.

2003: May
The Leader of the House of Commons - Dr John Reid, announced that the Bill may not become law in this session of Parliament, due to a 'crowded programme'. This however, no longer means it will fail, but will be carried over to the new session in the autumn.

2003: June 19th
New Leader of the House of Commons, Peter Hain, announced that the Hunting Bill will enter the Report Stage on Monday 30th June 2003.

2003: June 30th
The Hunting Bill entered the report stage in the House of Commons, backbench Labour MPs introduce and amendment to ban foxhunting outright and win by a majority of 181. The bill later ran out of time in the Lords.

2003: November
No mention of a Hunting Bill is included in the Queen's Speech - both Prime Minister Tony Blair and Leader of the Commons, Peter Hain, say that '...the issue will be resolved this parliament'.

2004: September 15th
The Hunting Bill is reintroduced into the House of Commons. Despite a massive protest outside, with over 10,000 demonstrators, MPs vote to ban hunting by 339 to 155. They also vote to delay an introduction of a ban on fox hunting by 18 months. Ministers say they are ready to use the Parliament Act to force the bill onto the statute book, if the House of Lords amends it.

2004: September 16th
MPs again vote for a ban on hunting with dogs as protesters are involved in violent confrontations with police outside Parliament. On the same day pro-hunt demonstrators manage to evade security and break into the House of Commons chamber.

12 November, 2004
Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael urges peers to accept a compromise deal on licensed hunting. Backing this option could stave off the use of the Parliament Act and an outright ban, he says.

18 November, 2004
After a period in which the Bill "ping pongs" between the Commons and the Lords, where a ban is rejected, Commons Speaker Michael Martin invokes the Parliament Act and pushes the bill into law.

18 February 2005
The Hunting Act comes into force.

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