New report analyses the claims of a scientific case to ban hunting with dogs

A report produced jointly by the All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group and the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management has demolished the claims that there is any valid scientific evidence to justify the hunting ban. The report The Use, Misuse and Abuse of Science in support of the Hunting Act 2004, will be launched on Friday 27th July in the House of Commons.

This document provides the first opportunity to scrutinise the reports, submissions and statements made by anti hunting groups, some scientists and others during the process which led to the passing of the Hunting Act 2004. It shows that the “large body of scientific evidence”, a claim made by the RSPCA, simply does not exist.

The report is given significant weight by the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, which represents over 550 veterinary surgeons. Dr Lewis Thomas for VAWM says, “This carefully compiled document comprehensively puts the scientific record straight in respect of the hunting debate and demonstrates that there are not and never were any scientific grounds for banning hunting on the grounds of cruelty.”

The Co-chairs of the Middle Way Group, (Baroness Golding -Labour, Peter Luff MP -Conservative and Lembit Öpik MP - Liberal Democrat) say, “Parliament does not make judgements based purely on science, but science can guide and inform those who create our laws. To invent, deliberately misinterpret or ignore evidence, the results of which are then fed into the legislative process, is a serious charge. This examination of the so-called science put forward to justify the Hunting Act, demonstrates that Parliament, the media and the public were deceived.” Ends

Notes for Editor:

  1. 1. a summary of key points is attached.
  2. 2. The Use, Misuse, and Abuse of Science in support of the Hunting Act 2004, is launched at 11am on Friday 27th July in Room N, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.

Summary of the Report on “The use, misuse and abuse of science in support of the Hunting Act 2004.”

The Report exposes:

Key Points.

Conclusions.
The carefully compiled document comprehensively puts the scientific record straight in respect of the hunting debate and demonstrates that there are not, and never were, any scientific grounds for banning hunting on the grounds of cruelty.

For decades, groups opposed to hunting have produced documents that appear to be authoritative, often quoting scientists and their work in support of a ban. Yet, despite claims of scientific backing, not a single study showing excessive suffering resulting from hunting with dogs could be provided when requested.

Nevertheless, chasing wild animals with dogs is automatically regarded as an act which causes suffering and the coincidental fact that it is also regarded by followers of the hunt as a sport only serves to attract further condemnation. The Report challenges both of these perceptions.

Clearly, the anti-hunting propaganda circulated to the media and Parliamentarians was welcomed by those whose agenda was to ban hunting at any cost. However, for those who may honestly have felt that a ban would improve animal welfare, the Report sets the record straight.

To invent, deliberately misinterpret or ignore evidence, the results of which are then fed into the legislative process, is a serious charge. The Report demonstrates that the so-called science put forward to justify the Hunting Act deceived politicians, the media and the public alike.

Copies of the full Report are available from the Middle Way Group, c/o Lembit Opik’s Office, House of Commons, London. SW1A 0AA. @ £2.50 inc p & p. Cheques to Middle Way Group.