With regard to the proposal to find government time for a free vote to repeal the Hunting Act. I share the appreciation of many of my constituents for the protection of the British countryside and believe that we need to do more to support rural community life.
That is why I believe the Government should prioritise the wider issues affecting rural communities such as transport, low wages, the shortage of affordable housing, improving infrastructure and protecting vital public services.
I know from what has amounted to thousands of e-mails and letters I have received over the years that there are strongly held views on both sides regarding the Hunting Act (although a substantial majority of those who have contacted me have always been firmly for the ban/against repeal). I voted for the ban when this came before Parliament a decade ago, on the basis of the animal welfare argument, and have heard nothing to change my mind on the matter since.
As you know, there has been speculation that the current Government may soon schedule a debate and vote on repealing the Hunting Act, although no date has yet been announced and it has not featured in the Queen’s Speech. However, Liz Truss MP did confirm for the government that such a vote would be taking place at some point in the Parliament.
I will, of course, continue to listen to the views raised by all constituents on this issue and how we can do more to support rural communities. I cannot, however support repealing the Hunting Act nor the continuation of the programme of culling badgers in a vane and scientifically discredited attempt to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis
Karen Buck MP