Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West.

Sharon Hodgson MP responds to constituents' queries about plans to repeal Hunting Act

Many constituents have been in contact with Sharon recently about the Hunting Act.

It is clear from the huge numbers of letters and e-mails that I have received on this issue, this is something that many people feel very passionate about.

Houses of Parliament

It is my firm belief that we have a moral duty to treat the animals we share our planet with in a humane and compassionate way and the unnecessary and prolonged suffering of defenceless animals has no place in a civilised society.

That is why I am proud of the previous Labour Government's strong record on animal welfare and why I am committed to defending the Labour Government's Hunting Act 2004.

I believe that the vast majority of the British public also support the ban on hunting. Indeed, a recent Ipsos MORI survey showed that 80% of people support the ban.

However, the Conservative Party's election manifesto included a commitment to give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote.

The Tory Government had confirmed it is committed to fulfilling this pledge, and a vote was expected on Wednesday.  However the Government back-tracked on this vote over fears they would be defeated and have now said they will wait to bring forward this amendment to the Hunting Act.

I appreciate the concerns raised by organisations such as the League Against Cruel Sports about the Government's proposal and I can assure you that I will oppose any attempt to repeal the Hunting Act.

I believe that holding a vote on repealing the Hunting Act distracts from the real issues that are facing many rural communities, including low wages, the shortage of affordable housing and the need to improve infrastructure and protect public services.  I also believe the Government should be focusing on tackling rising energy prices and protecting rural bus services.

There have been over 340 successful prosecutions under the Hunting Act and I believe the Government should drop the idea of repeal and instead ensure that the legislation is enforced.

League Against Cruel Sports

Report in Daily Mirror

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