Foxhunting

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 17th January 2019.

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Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

How many reports he has received of foxes being killed by hunts in England in 2018.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Department has not received any reports of foxes being killed in illegal ways, but I would not expect it to, as people are expected to report that to the local police. It is the Ministry of Justice that keeps the statistics on crime records.

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

The League Against Cruel Sports reports 32 kills last year, which is the bare minimum because it cannot monitor every hunt. May I suggest to Ministers that the reason why they do not collect these figures is that if they did, they would have to do something about enforcing the laws that already exist?

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Hunting Act 2004 makes it clear that, apart from certain exemptions, there is a ban on hunting with dogs. It is important that people take their evidence to the local police forces. I am aware of the incident in Cheshire through social media, and I understand that Cheshire police are investigating it. It is a crime, and it is up to the police force to investigate.