Orders of the Day — Hunting Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:00 pm, 18th November 2004

When the Bill came before the House last year and it became clear that it could be reintroduced and have the Parliament Act applied to it, I thought that common sense would prevail and that people involved with hunting would say, "Well, if the elected House of Commons in the Parliament of this country is intent on taking that decision, we had better start thinking about it." However, those who oppose a ban on hunting have encouraged their followers to believe that legislation will not be introduced. Ordinary people, who have perhaps been misled by their leadership, should be given time in order to prepare for a ban, deal with animal welfare considerations and change the activities and businesses in which they are involved. That is the common-sense and generous way in which to approach the Bill, without changing the nature of the legislation, on which this House has agreed on more than one occasion.