Five years after the introduction of the Hunting Act, environment secretary Hilary Benn has sent an open letter to Conservative party leader David Cameron calling on him to drop his pledge to give Parliament a free vote to repeal the 2004 Hunting Act if elected to Government.

In his letter, sent on 18 February, Mr Benn described the controversial act as “effective” and “enforceable” and claimed the Conservatives are “out of touch” with public opinion. Mr Benn wrote: We find it impossible to understand why you are determined to legalise once again the tearing to pieces of foxes by dogs. It’s also very hard to see why this would be a priority for any incoming Government. Since voting against the ban on fox hunting you have not seemed very keen to talk about this. But, given the strength of public feeling I would be grateful if you would clarify whether you also plan to repeal the ban on hare coursing and stag hunting as well as foxhunting?

The rest of this article appears in 24th February issue of Shooting Times.

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