The Countryside Alliance last week conducted its own analysis of the rural policies as presented by the three main parties in the run-up to the election. The campaign group highlighted the fact that the Labour Party has dropped from its manifesto the commitment it has made in previous years “not to bring forward any restrictions on the sport of shooting”.

In previous elections, Labour has published the commitment either as part of its manifesto, as in 2001, or as part of a separate rural manifesto, as in 2005. This year, in its 78-page manifesto, A future fair for all published last week, there was no mention of shooting sports, though the party did note: “We have banned foxhunting and animal testing for cosmetics and tobacco, and we will bring forward further animal welfare measures.” This mirrored the contents of a letter relating to Labour’s animal welfare track record that was sent directly last week to a member of Shooting Times’s staff by one campaigning Labour MP. It promoted the party’s credentials by highlighting how the Government had recently instigated a ban on raised laying cages.

The rest of this article appears in 21st April issue of Shooting Times.

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  • Mike Hemingway

    Well, did anyone really expect anything different from this Labour Government? This latest policy declaration will be a vote- catching bait for the real Labour supporters and activists. It is difficult to see how anyone could have really given any credence to the promises of socialists to ” support shooting”, and then abide by that policy. Anyway, the future of our sport is in our hands, so use the vote you have, it is the only defence against those who are anti us. Furthermore, it is now time for the perceived upper class image of shooting to be laid to rest. This above all else, gives succour to those who would ban our sport. If we fail to look after our sport this time round, we will be on the downward slope, and there will be no return.

  • Jonathon Crisp

    Whilst we would all like to see the repeal of the hunting act, it should be noted that there are far more challenging and pressing needs for this country and the sporting public. It is much more important for the whole nation to see the continued improvement in the economy and if the difference between the Tories and Labour governments is either the repeal or the economy, then I know where I will vote. Voting Tory for the repeal of the hunting act is very secondary to keeping the country on the right tracks, a move which will almost certainly not happen if the Tories get in. The facts are that a Tory government will be a government of very high and crippling taxes, who would want that alongside a repeal, I know that I wouldn’t.