Where has the Hunting Act gone?

Two weeks to go till the election and a sort of collective insanity seems to be gripping certain sections of social media. There’s a big argument on Facebook between animal rights people who support Labour and those who’ll be voting for the Green Party.

When I published the article on the Green Party and Barry Horne recently, a lot of the Labour folk thought I was on their side. I had to remind them this is an anarchist blog and I’m nothing of the sort. I deeply detest Labour and its double-crossing of the animal rights movement and the animals themselves.

In the run-up to the election I’ll be writing two pieces on Labour. One will look at its betrayal of the working class – the very people it was set up to represent – while the other will examine how Labour has promised so much for animals yet delivered so little.

To return to Facebook, many of those backing Labour have got involved over the badger cull and have little knowledge of the party’s treachery in the past. Their naivety is therefore to some extent excusable.

But there are others who should know better. One of them is Luke Steele who used to be an anti-vivisectionist and fancied himself as the leader of the radical wing of the movement following the decline of SHAC. Until, that is, he fell fowl of draconian laws introduced by the last Labour government.

First he was sent to prison for the heinous crime of trespassing on private land belonging to a breeder of laboratory animals. Then a few years later he was gaoled for standing outside another breeder holding a placard and speaking on a megaphone. One might think that after that he’d be through with Labour but, no, he’s going around towns in northern England asking people to vote for them.

The expression turkeys voting for Christmas springs to mind. One of the reasons he wants us to put Miliband in No.10 is the Tories’ commitment to a free vote on the Hunting Act. I have news for you, Luke, the Act has already gone in some parts of the country. Or to be more exact it was never there in the first place.

According to a BBC investigation there has never been a single prosecution under the Act in the counties of Cornwall and Devon over the last ten years. It’s like a piece of hugely controversial legislation that took up 700 hours of parliamentary time, caused riots outside Parliament and even a hunt scum invasion of the House of Commons had never even existed.

The police claim they would “always consider any evidence”, yet although two arrests have been made for illegal hunting, that’s as far as it’s gone. The only prosecutions brought have been by the League Against Cruel Sports. 

Cornwall and Devon are two of the largest and most heavily hunted counties in England so perhaps the reason for the lack of police interest is that the hunts are operating within the law? However, the people on the ground – the monitors and saboteurs – say most hunts are just carrying on as before. They are acting with impunity because they know the police aren’t interested in stopping them.

This is precisely how it was always meant to be. The Act was poorly drafted, full of loopholes and not designed to protect wild animals properly – it permits the shooting of foxes, for example. Add to that the lack of enforcement and we have a piece of legislation that is next to useless.

Unfortunately most of the population thinks hunting with hounds is now a thing of the past. The likes of Luke Steele do not help matters when they go around saying we should vote Labour to keep the “ban”. This amounts to colluding in a massive confidence trick. Far better to expose the lies and mendacity of politicians who protect the rich and powerful’s country pursuits. There really is one law for them and another for us.


  1. It was clear the Act was never going to be policed properly when a leading member of ACPO came out the day after it was passed and said that they wouldn’t be policing it. That was all the info the hunts needed.
    As somebody who monitors/sabs regularly in the season I’ll be voting Green because their policies represent more of what I believe in right across the board. They’re not perfect but they’re a darn sight better than the rest AND the mainstream media keep ignoring them, which has to be a good sign that they don’t represent big money or conservative ideas. I was Labour many years ago but remember “New Labour, New Lies for Animals”. The alternative is that I don’t vote at all.

  2. I’d vote for anyone ahead of the Tories – however, crap labour is, the animals wouldn’t stand any kind of chance with the Tories, now would they? The problem with this ‘democratic’ system is that we are not exactly spoiled for choice….

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