Orders of the Day — Hunting Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire 2:30 pm, 18th November 2004

My hon. Friend makes an extremely good point, which I shall discuss in a moment.

On the subject of horses, the British Horse Society makes it plain that an immediate or early ban on hunting will have significant consequences for horses. Mr. Cory says:

"Horses bred mainly or solely for hunting are not pets . . . By temperament and conformation, these are strong and vigorous animals . . . To expect these hunting horses to thrive in roles for which they are not suited by breeding would be as unrealistic as to expect trained sheepdogs to thrive as family pets . . . a sudden influx into the market of thousands of redundant hunters would be beyond the capacity of equine welfare organisations to manage. Some will undoubtedly be slaughtered, others will be forced into roles for which they are wholly unsuited."

The British Horse Society goes to great lengths to make it absolutely plain that there would be significant animal welfare consequences for horses, as well as for hounds, were there to be an immediate ban.