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Fox at Nether Edge, Sheffield. Photo: Edwyn Anderton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).
Fox at Nether Edge, Sheffield. Photo: Edwyn Anderton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).
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'Make Hunting History' march on Downing Street this Bank Holiday Monday

The Ecologist

26th May 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May has made several serious mistakes in her election campaign, but her biggest 'unforced error' of all could be her public support for foxhunting, opposed by 17 in 20 voters. Now a huge march to her Downing Street residence is planned for next Monday to 'Make Hunting History!'

We seek to protect and preserve life, we want as much of it to remain so our children can cherish it. The organised savagery that sees wild animals pursued and pulled to pieces by dogs is utterly incompatible with that.

Thousands of people will join a peaceful march through the streets of central London to Downing Street on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May to oppose Theresa May's plan to hold a free vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act if she wins the 8th June general election.

The 'Make Hunting History' march, which is expected to be the largest public protest of the entire General Election Campaign, aims to persuade May to abandon her deeply unpopular policy to bring back foxhunting, and to warn voters of the consequences to wildlife if she does not.

The march is being organised by an alliance of anti-hunt campaign groups and individuals. Speakers will include actor and animal rights activist Peter Egan and wildlife campaigner and writer, Dominic Dyer and Naturalist and TV presenter Anneka Svenska

"This protest march was planned a number of weeks ago and we have given careful consideration to continuing with the event, following the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena", said Dominic Dyer, a co-organiser of the protest.

"However we have decided to go ahead with the march with the full support and co-operation of the police and security services, as we strongly believe that terrorists can never be allowed to stop us from exercising our right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest, which is of even more importance during a General Election Campaign.

"In response to the fear and hatred of terrorism, we want to show the world that Britain is a caring and compassionate society and a beacon of light when it comes to wildlife protection and animal welfare."

The Hunting Act must stay!

The march will see thousands of people come together from all walks of life ethnic groups and religions, he continued, "united in a common cause to prevent the repeal of the Hunting Act, which poses such a threat to foxes, hares and stags and leads to increasing levels of wildlife crime against badgers and other species."

"The event will start with a minutes silence for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack, before we march on united in our resolve to make this world a better place for animals and people."

Naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham has also given his strong support to the protest march: "The ugly spectre of a legal return to fox hunting is an insult to democracy and a repugnant stain on the efforts of conservationists everywhere. We like life. We love life. All life.

"And we seek to protect and preserve it, we want as much of it to remain so our children can cherish it. The organised savagery that sees wild animals pursued and pulled to pieces by dogs is utterly incompatible with that."

Packham added that foxhunting had nothing to do with managing wildlife populations, but only with the perverse enjoyment of participants in a cruel and archaic sport:

"This is not about animal management, about ecological balance, about 'pest control'", he said. "This is about killing for pleasure, killing for fun. Killing wildlife for fun is a dying business. Let's lay it to rest ... lets make foxhunting history!"

May's big mistake must be challenged by voters

Speaking on an ITV Facebook Live event earlier this month, Theresa May sought to justify her decision to give MPs a vote on repealing the 2004 Hunting Act:

"I have always supported fox hunting, but clearly I'm not saying I'm going to bring it back. What I'm saying is we will have a free vote in Parliament so MPs will be able to make up their own mind on this issue.

"Some of the other forms of dealing with foxes can be cruel, so my view is it should be a free vote for Parliament so members of parliament individually should be able to exercise their view on this matter."

Actor and animal rights activist Peter Egan, who will be speaking at the march, said that with Brexit, "We are about to take a major step regarding our nation's future, I would like to think it was in better hands, than those who wish to take us backwards, to the most uncivilised, cruel and anachronistic pastimes."

Beth Granter, Care2 Campaigner, said: "The fox hunt ban must be protected. There should be no vote on its repeal. Hundreds of thousands of Care2 members have signed multiple petitions demanding that foxes be left in peace and that Theresa May drop her calls for a hunting ban repeal vote." 

 


 

The 'Make Hunting History' protest will leave Cavendish Square at 1.30pm on on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May, proceeding down Regents Street, Haymarket and around Trafalgar Square before entering Whitehall and finishing at Richmond Terrace opposite Downing Street at around 2.15pm.

Also on The Ecologist: 'Tell Mrs May: Foxhunting must remain illegal!'

 

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