We have three Co Founders- one is the present Vice President of a Surrey Conservative party Association and the former Chairman, the second Co Founder is a Trustee of a leading animal welfare charity , was awarded the International Fund For Animal Welfare 2012 Award presented in the House of Lords ,was a shortlist finalist for the Inspiration Awards For Women Award 2013, was awarded the RSPCA Lord Erskine Silver Award 2014 and presented with the Ceva Animal Welfare Finalist Award in 2016. Our third Co Founder was selected to be in the top three finalists in the world to be the Voice Of Conservation for the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa in 2011.
Conservatives Against Fox Hunting- Blue Fox, has five patrons – Conservative Ministers Caroline Dinenage, Tracey Crouch and MPs Dominic Raab, Sir David Amess and Sir Roger Gale, Patron of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.
Welcome to Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (The Blue Fox Group) established by a Conservative Association Chairman ( now the Association Vice President )and his family in January 2010. This web site is here to represent the two thirds of Conservative supporters and the 84% of the general population who think hunting should remain illegal as demonstrated in an Ipsos MORI poll carried out for The League Against Cruel Sports.
We have 5 Conservative MP Patrons, including Tracey Crouch MP, Sports Minister, Caroline Dinenage MP, Equalities Minister, Sir Roger Gale MP, Sir David Amess MP and Dominic Raab MP, former Justice Minister.
We have been invited twice to No10 Downing Street to discuss our animal welfare campaigns.
The Hunting Act 2004 ban outlaws hunting wild mammals such as deer, hare, foxes and mink by packs of dogs. It also bans the sport of hare coursing. We trust and respect the experience and expertise of the RSPCA, The International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW) and The League Against Cruel Sports amongst numerous other leading animal welfare organisations who back the ban on hunting with dogs and support The Hunting Act 2004 which prohibits these sports. Mammal research scientists, animal welfare authorities and wildlife rescue centres all advocate support for the ban. Hunting wild mammals with dogs is illegal and we want it to remain as such. 55 Conservative MPs are against hunting with hounds. The majority of Conservative MPs have stated their intention to vote for repeal when offered a free vote which will mean a return of hunting stags, foxes and hares with hounds and hare coursing which the legislation currently bans and has done for the last 11 years. It is a new law and needs to be protected for the sake of our wildlife. We support the anti hunting Conservative MPs and work to encourage more Conservative MPs to join them and represent the majority opinion against such sports. We have held several parliamentary receptions and fringe events at the Conservative Party Conference to unite the anti hunting Conservative MPs together.
The coursing and hunting of hares in the UK is not carried out because the hare is considered an agricultural pest but largely for entertainment. Hare coursing was permanently banned in Northern Ireland in August 2011 .It would be a nonsense to return to the past where activities such as hare coursing and hunting are again legal when both activities have been shown to have no positive impacts on hare welfare as neither serves any practical purpose in terms of protecting agricultural interests. The sole motivation for this sport is entertainment and at a time when other countries are imposing a ban on abuse of animals in this way , it is extraordinary that politicians in England and Wales are contemplating making it legal.
We run four campaigns in Westminster- the Blue Fox campaign against a return of hunting with hounds and we introduced the campaign for a close season for nursing hares in Westminster in 2011- Blue Hare www.bluehare.org.uk We also campaign along with leading animal welfare organisations to protect badgers from the badger cull plans. Our campaign named Blue Badger against the badger cull and can be found on www.bluebadger.org Our latest Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation campaign aims to advance farm animal welfare.
Hare populations have declined by an estimated 80% in the last 100 years from around 4 million hares in 1880 to around 750,000 at the present time. In the mid 1990s the Government introduced a Species Action Plan to double hare populations by 2010 and this was not met.
Conservatives Against Fox Hunting approached the Chairman of The Associate Parliamentary Group For Animal Welfare in the House of Commons in May 2011 to introduce the need for a close season at least for hares due to their vulnerable population status. We were delighted that the Chairman Neil Parish MP supported our proposal from the first meeting and asked a Parliamentary Question concerning hares on our behalf which was answered by Richard Benyon MP, the Minister at DEFRA in June 2011. The Hare Preservation Trust and Humane Society International UK also became involved with our push for hare protection in November 2011. Care For The Wild International joined our campaign in June 2012 and together we all lead the charge for a close season for hares in Westminster. Over 146 MPs supported the EDM for a close season for hares. Conservatives Against Fox Hunting and Humane Society International UK hosted a Hare Protection Reception in June 2012 with three Cross party MPs hosts in the House of Commons.
Read the minutes of our presentation for a close season for hares which we gave jointly with Humane Society International UK in the House of Commons in February 2012 at the APGAW meeting of animal welfare organisations and MPs.http://www.apgaw.org/images/stories/21st_February_2012_minutes_.pdf
Read more about the declining hare populations and why a close season is very necessary for English hares who are deprived of a close season despite close seasons operating throughout much of mainland Europe, Northern Ireland and Scotland already http://www.conservativesagainstfoxhunting.com/2012/02/we-present-a-presentation-before-the-associate-parliamentary-group-for-animal-welfare-21st-february-2012/
Over 80% of the public think hunting should remain illegal as demonstrated in an Ipsos -MORI poll conducted in 2013 for the RSPCA, IFAW and League Against Cruel Sports. Over 80% of the rural population think hunting should remain illegal and want to see the ban on hunting wild mammals remain in place.
The Governments proposed Motion to consider a Free Vote to repeal the Hunting Act 2004 could mean a return of these unnecessary sports with dogs which will have been outlawed for several years. The longer the Hunting Act remains in place the more embedded in society it will become. It is significant to remember that the bull baiting ban of 1834 was flouted for decades by a minority of people bent on their illegal activity before it was finally observed. The Hunting Act 2004 is only nine years old and a minority of people still have high feelings against it since it prohibits their sport of chasing and killing wild mammals with dogs. There will always be a minority of people who are bent on flouting laws yet we do not reward them with overturning legislation simply because such laws are sometimes difficult to enforce. If we applied the same principle to our theft and taxation laws for example, we would be a laughing stock. A minority of dog fighters still flout the law banning dog fighting and would like to exercise their ‘civil liberties’ to continue their cruel sport. Politicians are not supporting their desire to carry out their ’sport’ and repeal the law on dog fighting because these people flout the law and it is sometimes difficult to enforce. There are many shared characteristics when comparing dog fighting with fox hunting. Both sports involve people training dogs to attack dogs and dogs in hunting to attack other species such as the fox which is a wild member of the dog family. The same principle applies of training dogs to attack for the recreation and spectacle of a minority of people despite the suffering of the animals involved. In hunting , logic and common sense dictate that it is unnecessary to chase and kill a wild animal with dogs and allow it to be attacked to death as a recreational pursuit when it can be humanely shot instead when a farmer deems it is necessary to control wildlife.
The spirit of the Hunting Act 2004 is clear- it is illegal to intentionally chase and kill a wild mammal with dogs for sport.We advocate that natural fox scents should be forbidden in trail hunting to do away with accidental hunting when the pack hounds switch to a live fox when they catch it’s scent. It stands to reason that if dogs are trained to chase an authentic fox scent then they may be excited when they find a live fox. The use of artificial scents would do away with this confusion.
Our Nation has a proud history of pioneering higher animal welfare standards and an intolerance of unnecessary cruelty. We cannot be expected to influence other countries policies on whaling, bull fighting and big game trophy hunting etc if we are seen internationally, to overturn a ban set in place to ban cruelty in hunting wild mammals with dogs. MPs in Catalonia recently banned the cruel sport of bull fighting and the rest of Spain is expected to follow in the near future. Ireland recently made the historic decision to ban the hunting of stags with dogs back in June 2010. It is bizarre that English and Welsh MPs are considering reinstalling illegal sports that other countries are now banning and moving forwards with public opinion on these issues.
The Hunting Act 2004 is not about class issues, town versus country, civil liberties or banning rural customs or traditions. It was established to protect wild mammals from suffering in the unnecessary chase and being killed by dogs. Where a farmer deems there is a need for control the Burns Inquiry commissioned by the Labour Government, concluded that lamping (shooting) was the more humane method.
Hunting wild mammals needs to remain in the past along with other illegal outmoded traditions such as bear and bull baiting, dog and cock fighting. The banning of these ‘traditions’ were heavily opposed in their time but nobody would contest them now.
Let’s not see a return of hunting with dogs and leave it consigned to history where it belongs. Future generations learn from our example today. Let’s continue to look to the future and leave the past behind We need to continue to evolve and progress onwards. We simply want tomorrow to be better than today.
We decided to dispel the myth that all Conservatives are pro hunt. Currently 55 Conservative MPs have publicly stated that they are against the repeal of the Hunting Act and we will continue to encourage our representatives in Parliament to join us and the two thirds of Conservative supporters who do not wish to see any reversal of the Hunting Act.
It was nine months into our campaign that we held our first formal event, a fringe breakfast meeting at the Conservative Annual Conference in Birmingham which we co hosted with The League Against Cruel Sports. Dominic Raab MP and Andrew Rosindell MP were our key speakers and this was well attended by both sides of the debate.
In December 2010 we held our first Parliamentary Breakfast event at the House of Commons, again co hosted with The League Against Cruel Sports. The event brought together six Conservative MP’s who supported our campaign against a return to hunting wild mammals with dogs. A number of Conservative MPs attended along with our guest speakers Douglas Batchelor , Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, the UK Director of IFAW, Robbie Marsland and Brian May of Queen. It was a successful, positive discussion and has laid the foundation for future events and meetings.
We are delighted that there now appears a sea of change within the Conservative Party with increasing numbers of Conservative MP’s recognising that society has evolved and moved forward in relation to hunting with dogs. As Benjamin Disraeli said “In a progressive country, change is constant, change is inevitable.” When the Hunting Act was introduced in 2004, it had the support of a handful of Conservative MP’s. The party has moved on since those days. There are now at least 55 Conservative MP’s against repeal or amendment and that number is growing all the time. This reflects the 70% of Conservative voters who support the Hunting Act as shown by the most recent Ipsos MORI polling. However, 80% of Conservative MPs still support the repeal of the ban on hunting with dogs and it is necessary to encourage more Conservative MPs to vote against repeal- hence our campaign.
Our message is simple and positive, it is very much about continuity and spreading our message. We want to encourage undecided and unknown Conservative MPs to make the right decision and represent the mainstream Conservative supporter’s view against hunting wild mammals with dogs. We will continue to campaign for more fairer representation by our Conservative MPs on this issue and to show they are in touch with the majority opinion not only within the party but in the country and say no to Hunting wild mammals with dogs for sport.
We should look to the future for our inspiration towards a better world and not return to outmoded activities of the past. It’s time to move on and embrace what lies ahead and welcome better times for all of us and our planet.
Our donate button… A reminder!
Conservatives Against Fox Hunting is primarily a self-funding non for profit organisation. We are delighted to receive any help from members of the public or organisations which share our values and goals with regard animal welfare. All donations go towards the operational costs of Conservatives Against Fox Hunting.
We would like to thank Network for Animals, IFAW in Action , Lush Cosmetics, and all the members of the public who have made a financial donation to support our campaign against the repeal of the Hunting Act 2004 over the past years.
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