Conservatives “will scrap hunting ban”
The Daily Telegraph reports;
“The controversial scheme will include the creation of a Hunt Regulatory Authority (HRA) to police the behaviour of hunts and was drawn up by senior lawyers along with the Countryside Alliance.
The plans have the backing of influential Tories including William Hague and Edward Garnier, the shadow justice minister and could lead to the reintroduction of hunting with dogs across the British countryside.”
It is highly tempting to look at things like this and the proposals to reduce inheritance tax as the Conservatives pandering to their core demographic. Tempting because that is how things actually are; this is something of a thorny issue for liberals because it is one of those classic conflicts between individual liberty and wider social concerns and the feeling amoung a majority that fox hunting is wrong. The scientific ‘culling’ argument in favour of hunting is shaky and the League Against Cruel Sports has produced some rebuttals here; this leaves the ‘should be free to enjoy a pasttime’ argument.
Let’s be clear this is not in the same league as smoking or drinking because while harm can come to other sentient beings as a result of those activities this is not the actual starting intent and is dependent on the behaviour of the individual indulging in those activities. However, hunting starts with the explicit aim of harming another being that we know can feel pain and distress for nothing other than enjoyment; it is not even for food or sustenance which if it is performed effectively, giving the livestock a quality of life as well it is also not the same as a hunt.
Given that this is why I think it is still possible to oppose hunting on liberal grounds and not feel too conflicted. I have no doubt the above story is accurate and that the Conservatives will re-introduce hunting but no amount of regulatory authority will make that the right thing to do and it will, rightly, be seen as ‘Typical Tories’….