Will Foxhunting Be Banned In England?

England's House of Commons voted 411-151 to ban hunting of foxes and other wildlife. Prime Minister Tony Blair said he supports the ban, but said time has not been provided for the bill on the parliamentary agenda for it to clear all obstacles before it can make a final passage. However, the strong vote will pressure the government to ease passage of the bill which will also ban hunting of deer, hare, and mink.

Foxhunting supporters argue that the bill discriminates against countryside tradition, and that 27,000 jobs from game keeping to saddle making depend on the sport, which is no longer a sport just for the wealthy.

A 24-hour vigil was held outside Westminster Palace by about 150 supporters of foxhunting chanting "listen to us!"

Opponent Mike Foster, the Labor lawmaker who sponsored the bill, said the purpose of the bill is "to protect wild mammals from cruelty and from the unnecessary pain and suffering inflicted in the name of a so-called sport." Foster added, "It is accepted that foxes can be a nuisance but certainly the answer is not to send a pack of hounds down the local high street."

If the bill passes, huntsmen and those that allow hunting with dogs on their land are subject to a penalty of up to six months in jail and fines up to $8,400.

roughbred racehorse.

About the Author

Tim Brockhoff

Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

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