MP urged to vote against fox-hunting
PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 July 2015
AN ONLINE petition has been launched calling for Weston MP John Penrose to vote against any potential move to overturn the hunting ban.
The campaign has already gained more than 1,000 signatures since it was launched in June.
Mr Penrose was identified in a list published by the charity The League Against Cruel Sports as an MP who would vote to repeal the 2004 Hunting Act.
These conclusions were made based on MPs’ public comments and their previous voting record.
The Conservative manifesto for 2015’s election stated that parliament would be presented with an opportunity to repeal the 2004 Hunting Act if the party won a majority in May.
A group of Tory MPs are reported to be applying pressure to bring about the free vote and Government bill that the manifesto promised for parliament’s 2015 session.
The petition’s founder Sylvie Meller, aged 39 and originally from Germany, stated that blood sports ‘need to be confined to the history books’.
She said: “When I first heard and saw what is still going on in the British countryside I was shocked and I could not believe that something so barbaric is still happening in a civilised country.
“This ‘sport’ is to many people a vicious and outdated pastime and the idea of repealing the ban put in place by the Labour government, so that people like David Cameron can hunt and kill helpless creatures, is a horrific one.
“I saw that other people had started online petitions so I thought why shouldn’t I do the same?”
Mr Penrose said in a letter to Sylvie: “Personally I don’t hunt, but I’ve checked with our local hunt and they tell me they’re going strong with trail hunting, which is a form of drag hunting.”
Drag hunting is a hound-based activity where the trail or scent of an animal is laid for the dogs to chase, while the ban on traditional hunting remains in place.
Mr Penrose added: “I take the classic liberal position that even though I may disagree with someone else’s opinion or lifestyle, this does not necessarily mean it should be banned, therefore I would vote for the ban to be lifted should it come up in parliament.”