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Useful Quotes

On Banning Hunting
“The Hunting Act is severely flawed and unworkable... For an Act of Parliament purporting to relieve animal suffering to do the exact opposite is very sad. That the RSPCA, which does immensely important work on so many animal welfare fronts, has been party to this fiasco is a tragedy.”
John Hobhouse
Chairman of the RSPCA 1967-75
Letter to The Times - 12th September 2005

On Banning Hunting
“There is not a subject under the sun that is better suited to us (the Labour Party), for raising our morale in the constituencies, than a ban on fox hunting.”
Dennis Skinner MP
House of Commons - 17th June 2004

On Banning Hunting
“It is not a matter of great significance in animal welfare, but it has become totemic.”
Tony Banks MP (the late Lord Stratford)
BBC Radio 4 - 24th November 2003

On Banning Hunting
“Now that hunting has been banned, we ought at last to own up to it: the struggle over that Bill was not just about animal welfare and personal freedom, it was class war.”
Peter Bradley
Former Labour MP for The Wrekin
Sunday Telegraph – 21st November 2004

On Banning Hunting
“This has nothing to do with animal welfare – this is for the miners”
Dennis Skinner MP
Labour Party Conference – September 2004

Relevant extracts regarding hunting from The Blair Years - 2007
“On hunting, Tony Blair was still trying to think of a way out. One idea now doing the rounds was that it would get blocked in the Lords and we could then put a middle way in the manifesto for the next parliament.”
Alastair Campbell
Thursday 11th January 2001

Relevant extracts regarding hunting from The Blair Years - 2007
“Tony Blair was still banging on about hunting. The Tories thought he was being very clever and cunning. In fact he was agonising because he did not feel comfortable about the position he was in. You could argue that we would never win the support of most of those who opposed our position, but that we would lose a stack of support if he tried to shift the position back. But he didn’t like doing things he didn’t instinctively feel were right. Anji (Hunter) was as ever whispering in his ear what all her right-wing friends were saying, and the whole thing was unsettling him. Peter Mandelson was pressing for us to go to Northern Ireland tomorrow. Maybe he wanted to miss the hunting vote too.”
Alastair Campbell
Tuesday 16th January 2001

Relevant extracts regarding hunting from The Blair Years - 2007
“Before the hunting statement, Gerald Kaufman (chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee) called me to say he would never see himself as a loyal Tony Blair supporter again if we back-tracked on this. I said I never realised he was so passionate about it and he said he was, adding ‘If the Tony who stood up to Milosevic and bin Laden can’t stand up to the Countryside Alliance, I can’t support him.’”
Alastair Campbell
Thursday 21st March 2002

Relevant extracts regarding hunting from The Blair Years - 2007
“We learned that Prince Charles’s letter to Tony Blair re hunting was being leaked to the Mail on Sunday. It could have been really bad but thankfully they didn’t have the text, just a briefing on it, and the line that if we banned hunting he might as well go skiing all year round.”
Alastair Campbell
Saturday 23rd September 2002

Relevant extracts regarding hunting from The Blair Years - 2007
“Hilary (Armstrong) told him that if he didn’t bring back the Hunting Bill for a third reading soon we would not have a hope in hell of winning the foundation hospital vote. Tony Blair said sane people just would not understand how we can put at risk our whole public service agenda over hunting. Hilary said he had to understand that hunting went deep, and was symbolic…”
Alastair Campbell
Tuesday 17th June 2003

On Saving Lives
“The League sees the Prosecution Fighting Fund as the next important step in the campaign to stop hunt barbarity forever. As we take more hunts that have broken the law to the courts and proven them guilty, more are going to think twice before continuing their disgusting hobby. A regular gift of £5 a month helps us to achieve this. Your donation can save lives.”
League Against Cruel Sports
Support the Hunting campaign webpage – 15th March 2007

On Saving Lives
“As one of those who voted for the Act, I made it clear beforehand in many discussions with the pro-hunting lobby that I expected farmers to shoot more foxes (an acknowledged agricultural pest) after the Act was passed.”
David Rendel
Former Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury
Letter to the Independent – 1st December 2006

On Saving Lives
“They are being shot by farmers, caught in snares and still hunted, despite the ban. I think it’s had virtually no effect.”
John Bryant
– Protect Our Wild Animals
The Independent – 2nd November 2007

On improving Animal Welfare
“…the RSPCA heralds this ban on hunting with dogs as marking a watershed in the development of a more civilised society for people and animals.” John Rolls
RSPCA Director of Animal Welfare Promotion
- 18th November 2004

On improving Animal Welfare
“The ban on hunting with dogs will radically change the landscape of animal welfare in the UK…”
Phyllis Campbell-McRae
Former UK Director IFAW
– 18th February 2005

On improving Animal Welfare
“The hunting ban is a massive leap forwards to the creation of a decent and humane society.”
John Cooper
Chairman League Against Cruel Sports
– 18th February 2005

  • In July 2005, the RSPCA announced a 78% rise in animal cruelty cases.
  • In July 2006, the RSPCA said that conviction cases had risen by 20%.
  • In April 2007, the RSPCA revealed that its workload had increased by 50%.
  • In April 2008, the RSPCA states that cases of abandoned pets rose by 25%.

On Policing
“I do not have any dedicated resources to police hunts…the resources have to come from elsewhere. I am concerned that a hunting ban could cause difficulties.”
Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall
Western Morning News - 24th February 2004

On Policing
“…our duty as police officers….. is to try and enforce the law without fear or favour and that does become increasingly difficult when a law is particularly unfavourable. It will be extremely difficult to police and it will be extremely resource intensive...”
Chief Inspector Jan Berry
BBC Radio 4 ‘Any Questions’ - 23rd October 2004

On Policing
“People can go up above the hunt in a helicopter that has monitoring equipment.”
Ann Widdecombe MP
House of Commons – 22nd March 2007

On Interpretation and Enforcement
“We need to ask why the ban is not being properly enforced…If the police are rather torpid on the issue, the Crown Prosecution Service is even worse.”
Ann Widdecombe MP
House of Commons - 22nd March 2007

On Interpretation and Enforcement
“It is now clear that the Act is straightforward and enforceable.”
Alun Michael MP
The House Magazine - 21st January 2008

On Interpretation and Enforcement
“We observe at the outset that the experience of this case has led us to the conclusion that the relevant law is far from simple to interpret or to apply; it seems to us that any given set of facts may be susceptible to differing interpretations. The result is an unhappy state of affairs which leaves all those involved in a position of uncertainty.”
Judge Graham Cottle
Tony Wright Appeal judgment, Exeter Crown Court – 30th November 2007

On Shooting
“There simply aren’t any wounded foxes from shooting in the countryside as far as I’m concerned.”
Prof. Stephen Harris
(Scientist commissioned by the Campaign for the Protection of the Hunted Animal)
Shooting Times - 12th June 2003

On Shooting
“There is not absolute proof that wounded foxes suffer...”
Jackie Ballard
Director General RSPCA
Letter - 9th May 2005

On Shooting
“..the notion that gun packs merely use dogs to flush foxes out into the open where they can be humanely shot is false….such hunts involve great cruelty.”
League Against Cruel Sports
Letter - 28th May 1997

On Shooting
“Using dogs to flush (the fox)…to be shot…has to be 100 miles better than the current situation for animal welfare.”
Jackie Ballard
Director General RSPCA
BBC Radio 4 - 17th June 2003

On Shooting
“Game shooting is horrible and nasty… the RSPCA will get around to try and end this.”
Jackie Ballard
Director General RSPCA
- February 2003

On Wild Mammal Protection
“...I give the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire notice that if his shoddy piece of work comes back before the House again I will do my utmost to ensure that it is blocked time and time again.”
Andrew Dismore,
Labour MP for Hendon
House of Commons - 6th February 2004 - 2nd Reading of Wild Mammals (Protection) (Amendment) Bill

On Pest Control
“If hunting is not an efficient pesticide, it has no purpose.”

Ann Widdecombe MP
House of Commons - 18th March 2002

On Pest Control

>“In pest control, welfare is treated as a secondary priority over efficiency in many cases…it appears, across the board, that ‘pest control’ has been the justification for some of the worst excesses in animal welfare.”
Dr Nick Fox
Welfare Aspects of Shooting Foxes Report (2003)

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