A Win for the Conservatives is a Loss for Foxes | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

A Win for the Conservatives is a Loss for Foxes

Despite being publicly unpopular, a clear Conservative majority in the General Election could spell the return of fox hunting, argues Comment Writer Nicola Stavrinou

What does the fox say? If it were up to Theresa May, it would be mute as it hung on display in Downing Street. Although not all hunts end in kill, this potential repeal is both cruel and unfavourable. While it has been in discussion within the Conservative Party since Cameron, it has left the British public in confusion as there are more pressing subjects that should be taking the Prime Minister’s focus rather than this rural sport. Moreover, it is general public opinion that any type of animal cruelty is wrong, with 84% of people opposed to fox-hunting. So why would the Conservative Party back such an unpopular repeal? Even if brought to vote, would it get a big enough backing from the Tories?

May knows that she has the power to pass unfavourable laws because of the Conservative's recent surge in popularity

While fox-hunting is not on the average Brits mind, the pro-hunting lobby has been a fierce force in Westminster since their favourite activity was banned 13 years ago. In a time when getting a majority is incredibly important, Theresa May is using this repeal to gain back the hardliner Tories who wish to see the ban lifted once and for all. She is going for an electoral majority which could potentially remove Labour and SNP from the equation. The anti-hunting Labour and SNP MPs who voted to ban fox-hunting could potentially be replaced with Conservative MPs who are pro-hunting. May knows that she has the power to pass unfavourable laws because of the Conservative's recent surge in popularity, most recently seen in the Mayoral elections from the beginning of the month.

It is no shock that many Conservatives would vote in favour, with Lord Mancroft being a name that continuously pops up over the issue and one that definitely fits the persona of a fox hunter. He himself insisted within a leaked email that a Tory landslide on the 8th June could make the sport legal once again. While anti-hunting MPs do exist - Sir Roger Gale, Sir David Amess and Tracey Crouch to name a few - those who specifically support it remain unclear. What we can take from this is that if they are not publicly opposed to fox-hunting, they are likely proponents of lifting the ban.

I have no doubt that if there is a potentially high Conservative majority win in the snap election, this ban will be lifted. Not that it has actually stopped anyone from hunting since then anyway.

Article by Nicola Stavrinou



Published

12th May 2017 at 2:04 pm



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