Hunting organisations have proposed that there should be a Hunting Regulatory Authority (HRA), which would oversee the sport if the 2004 Hunting Act is successfully repealed. The HRA, which has the backing of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFH), would be chaired by Labour peer Lord Donoughue.

Lord Donoughue led a 2007 review of greyhound racing and has worked to improve the horse racing industry. He said there could be “no return” to the situation before the ban. “We are trying to put forward a more moderate compromise approach,” Lord Donoughue said. “We need to achieve a proper balance between the needs of animal welfare, the need to avoid deliberate cruelty and the rights of the countryside to pursue its sports such as hunting.”

The HRA will apply a strict code of practice and those who break its rules could face prosecution in the courts with those found guilty fined or banned from hunting. It is intended to ensure that hunts respect animals, property, land and crops, and that hunting is only carried out on land with the permission of the owner and that no-one brings the sport into disrepute.

The rest of this article appears in 14th July issue of Shooting Times.

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