The Conservative party will hold a vote, in an attempt to legalise fox hunting if they are elected into power next May.
The 2004 Hunting Act, which came to force under the previous Labour Government could be repealed on the basis of a free vote of MPs in the House of Commons.
The issue has been on the party’s agenda for quite some time featuring in the 2010 Party Manifesto, which deemed the current act to be ‘unworkable’. Nick Parrish, parliamentary researcher for the Conservative Rural Action group perceives the issue “a matter of freedom and livelihood and should be put right.”
It is subject which has united the political right, being opposed by both David Cameron and Farage. However, Labour have openly issued a joint challenge to UKIP and the Conservatives. In a letter to the opposing party leaders, Shadow Cabinet Minister Jonathan Ashworth wrote:
“Given your parties respective stances on fox hunting, and given that 80% of the public back the hunting ban, I am writing to ask if you will rule out the possibility of a vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act as part of a 2015 post-electoral deal.”
Although, the UKIP spokesman has declared the topic to be not of pressing importance for them and the Tory party is yet to confirm the contents of its manifesto for next year, the issue of fox hunting raises important questions about cultural heritage and ethics, and animal welfare.