Did you know the Hunting Act was 10 years old on Tuesday? I’m usually good with dates but it passed me by completely until I read the article below. The Act actually became law in February 2005 – and eight out of 10 people want it to continue – but it’s full of loopholes and crucially the police and CPS are reluctant to enforce it. Moreover when a prosecution is successful the penalty is so lenient as to be ridiculous. The fact no-one is talking about the anniversary shows how toothless it is and how for most hunts it’s just business as usual.
The article “A decade on from the ban, fox hunting is still thriving” appears on the website Left Foot Forward, which supports the Labour Party. As such it takes a liberal view of the rule of law and says: “If we send the message that police and politicians can turn a blind eye to illegal behaviour simply because they don’t like the law, the entire justice system is undermined.”
What anarchists believe is it shows is that the “justice system ” is really an “injustice system” and there is one law for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us. From an animal liberation perspective it also proves how the attempt to legislate for animal welfare is doomed in a speciesist society.
So on two counts the Hunting Act was deeply flawed and bound to fail, despite being trumpeted as a great breakthrough for wild animals by reformist organizations like the League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The reality is the people saving foxes are the brave activists who go out sabbing and monitoring the hunts – using direct action – not mealy mouthed politicians or their cronies.