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Hunting Act: Prosecution Rates

Volume 653: debated on Thursday 31 January 2019

6. What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the CPS in prosecuting offences under the Hunting Act 2004. (908919)

Each CPS area has a Crown prosecutor dedicated to act as a wildlife, rural and heritage crime co-ordinator, to ensure that the specialist knowledge needed to prosecute such offending is readily available. Co-ordinators work closely with specialist officers from local police forces and from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, to ensure a robust CPS response.

I am disappointed that I did not hear from the Attorney General, because I wanted to hear about his recent field visit to a hunt, where I am sure the law was perfectly observed. The Solicitor General will be aware that there have been many reports up and down the country over the Christmas period of transgressions of the law. The public expect the law to be enforced in full. Is it not time we strengthened the Hunting Act?

I assure the hon. Gentleman that the Law Officers do not condone or in any way consent to lawbreaking—that is clear. Where there is evidence of a breach of the Hunting Act and unlawfulness, that evidence will be used to prosecute.