The election results might have shot the fox in terms of Theresa May’s plan to bring back the blood sport in the short term – but some in the Tories won’t be sated until they can see a creature torn apart by a pack of dogs.
And you have to admire the originality of the argument made in favour of fox hunting by Baron Mancroft in the Lord’s today.
Mancroft – who leads no less than three pro-fox hunting lobbying groups – claimed the ban on fox hunting was cruel to foxes and that only pro-hunt organisations cared about the critters’ welfare.
The Eton-educated peer argued the Labour party are “interested in the law, the application of the law, and the political debate but apparently show absolutely no interest in welfare of the quarry species who are supposedly the object of this act.”
He expressed his “concern” over a study that showed there has been a “significant decline in the numbers of hares and foxes” since fox hunting was banned.
Scrapbook was under the impression that reducing the number of foxes was the point of fox hunting?
But he saved the best until last. To the laughter of Labour peers, he concluded:
“In asking this question I’m happy to declare my interest as chairman of the Council of the Hunting Associations and chairman of the Master of Fox Hounds Association, which I’m pleased gives so much amusement opposite, but are the only two organisations, clearly which have any interest in the welfare for the animals concerned.”
He forgot to mention that he is also, according to his register of interests, deputy chairman of the Countryside Alliance.
Labour’s chief whip in the Lords, Steve Bassam, called it an “interesting spin” on the issue.
Lord Mancroft declares his interest in hunting foxes & adds he is interested in their welfare-an interesting spin on support for fox hunting
— Steve Bassam (@SteveTheQuip) July 17, 2017
But Mancroft will have received some encouragement from the reply of the Government whip Baroness Vere of Norbiton.
She refused to rule out reviving plans to scrap the hunting ban before the next session of Parliament in two years time.
You’ve got to be cruel to be kind…