The Government are satisfied that the Hunting Act 2004 has been effective in stopping hunting with dogs.
I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Does he share the concerns of constituents who have written to me to say that if the 2004 Act were repealed the only part of Britain that would have a ban on hunting foxes with hounds would be Scotland? Does he agree that this cruel and barbaric practice should be consigned to where it belongs—the scrap heap of history?
I do indeed agree with my hon. Friend. I find it very hard to understand why it is the Opposition’s policy to enable the repeal of the hunting ban, because that is not in line with public opinion. It would help in the process of understanding the policy being urged upon the Government if the Opposition could make it clear whether their policy also extends to allowing a return to stag hunting and hare coursing. I wrote to the Leader of the Opposition about this some time ago and I have not had the courtesy of a reply.