Within hours of the election result becoming clear, the issue of hunting with dogs was already being raised.

Hunting foxes, deer and hares with hounds has been banned for 10 years.

However David Cameron said he would allow a free vote in Parliament on whether to repeal the Hunting Act.

And so, despite there being a number of seemingly more important issues needing to be dealt with by the Government (the economy, unemployment, education, that kind of thing), those wishing to take up the reins of hunting once more have been quick to call for the vote to happen as soon as possible.

In among the statistics and the bluster, there’s one simple truth that cannot be ignored.

Hunting was banned because it is hideously cruel. Foxes and hares are ripped apart by hounds, often while still alive. Deer are chased to a standstill.

‘Cub’ hunting involves woodland being surrounded by hunt members who prevent young foxes from escaping when the hounds are sent in.

Hunting foxes with hounds is not a ‘natural’ activity. When foxes are chased, they will bolt down holes to escape.

As part of a fox hunt, the holes will be surrounded and then terrier dogs sent down to trap and/or fight with the fox.

This leads to horrific injuries and perhaps death for both animals.

Let’s be clear, hunting with hounds is not pest control, nor ‘wildlife management’.

It’s not a class issue, nor a town-vs-country argument. It’s nothing but a cruel sport that was consigned to history and we believe that there will be enough MPs who will vote to make sure it stays there.

  • Chris Pitt is Deputy Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports