The success of Boxing Day of hunts are a cause for celebration, shadow environment minister Tom Harris has told radio listeners.
Speaking on LBC radio on Saturday morning, Tom said that warnings that the Hunting Act would mean the end of hunts had been proved wrong. Drag hunting has successfully replaced the barbaric practice of hunting foxes and estimates suggest that the 320 registered hunts in England and Wales had attracted up to 450,000 spectators on Boxing Day.
After the interview, conducted with Ken Livingstone and Stanley Johnson, Tom said: “The prophets of doom have finally been proved wrong. Those who predicted the end of the hunt should now admit that the Hunting Act achieved exactly what was intended: the end of the needless persecution of wild animals. But the Act was never intended to mean the end of hunts themselves, and it’s fantastic that so many people still enjoy the spectacle and atmosphere of the Boxing day hunt.”
Tom called on the Conservative Party to give up on its plans to repeal the Act. “What the country – and the countryside – needs is a period of calm. It will do no good at all for this topic to return to parliament when the hunting fraternity is clearly in full vigour.
“Any attempt to repeal the Hunting Act would not only be doomed to failure and would be needlessly divisive.”
Listen to Tom’s interview on LBC: