Hunting Act

Stephen Hepburn MP for the Jarrow Constituency has showed his support for strengthening the 2004 Hunting Act by calling on the government to introduce prison sentences for illegal hunting.   

This month marked the anniversary of Labour’s The Hunting Act, which has been a key accomplishment of the last Labour government and the Jarrow MP believes the strengthening of the Hunting Act would represent a new chapter on the improvement on animal welfare standards in the UK.

Using dogs to kill animals like foxes, hares and deer for fun in the UK was banned in 2004 - but activities which mimic the act of hunting are still enjoyed by ‘enthusiasts’.  Sometimes trail hunts - where hounds follow an artificially-laid animal scent - end in animals getting accidentally killed. Campaigners argue trail hunts are sometimes used as a cover for real hunts.

Mr Hepburn told Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: “Foxhunting was banned in 2004, yet the practice remains widespread. Is it not time that the Government beefed up the Hunting Act 2004 and introduced prison sentences to deter people from taking part in and organising these barbaric sports?


The Secretary of State said: "There is a clear legislative framework following on from the ban introduced by the Labour Government and this Government have no intention of changing that ban.”


Stephen Hepburn MP added:


“Labour’s 2004 Hunting Act was a key milestone in banning this cruel blood sport, but since then new practices have developed to exploit loopholes in the legislation.


“I will continue to oppose any effort by the Tory government to repeal the ban and call out fox hunting for what it is – an appalling, cruel and needless activity that has no place in our society.”


Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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