John Cooper QC on why the Hunting Act is a good law

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Full Article by John Cooper QC

John Cooper QC

If a group of burglars were to march on parliament calling for repeal of the Theft Act for the restrictions that Act places on their nefarious activities, their calls would rightly be dismissed. If those who like to drive at racetrack speeds petitioned for a repeal of the Road Traffic Act, their campaign would be discounted as nonsense. And so it is puzzling why those with a desire to kill wildlife for ‘sport’ are given such a wide arena in which to campaign for repeal of the legislation which rightly places bloodsports on the wrong side of the law.

The proscription of hunting followed an extensive and often exhausting campaign spanning nine decades. The determination of the League Against Cruel Sports and its supporters meant that while there were numerous twists and turns on the road which led to the Hunting Act, there was never a moment at which the campaign was questioned.

And so it should not be a surprise that the bloodsports lobby, led by the Countryside Alliance and its more descriptively named predecessor the British Field Sports Society, showed utter determination to stop the passage of the law, and since they failed in that campaign, an utter determination to have the law overturned. Their difficulty, aside from the enormous public opinion firmly against them, is that every argument they put forward for repeal of the Hunting Act can be easily dismissed as spurious.

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