Fox hunting protesters rally against traditional Boxing Day, Poll

Fox hunting protesters rally against traditional Boxing Day, Poll

Opposition to fox hunting had risen to historic levels in the UK, according to a poll.

A poll by the League Against Cruel Sports published today shows opposition to fox hunting remains high across the country, with 84 per cent saying it should not be made legal again.

Even in the countryside there is strong opposition. The Ipsos Mori survey of 1,986 people shows how 82 per cent of people living in rural areas said they opposed hunting compared to 69 per cent four years ago.

League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Eduardo Goncalves said: “The Boxing Day hunts are portrayed as a glorious pageant taking place in front of a huge number of people who support them, but the truth is very different.

“The fact is 84 per cent of the public do not want fox hunting made legal.

“Just because families might venture out on Boxing Day to see the hunt, stroke the dogs or watch the horses, doesn’t mean they support repealing a law to enable the hunt to chase and kill wild animals with their dogs for sport.”

The Countryside Alliance said nobody connected to one of the more than 300 hunts in England and Wales registered with Council of Hunting Associations had been convicted of hunting offences in the past two years.

Since the Act was brought in in 2005, 94 per cent of the 423 people successful prosecuted under the Act were for casual hunting or poaching and had nothing to do with registered hunts, the organisation said.

The Countryside Alliance also said the rate of successful prosecutions associated with registered hunts was falling and raised concerns about the cost to the taxpayer of pursuing cases.

Chief executive Tim Bonner said: “Our figures demonstrate unequivocally that the Hunting Act lies in tatters.

“The problem with the Act is that over the past two years all those prosecuted under the Act have had nothing to do with ‘hunts’.

“The law that was supposed to have got rid of hunts is now being used as little more than a vehicle to harass them,” he added.