Hunting Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:18 pm on 11th November 2004.

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Photo of Baroness Mallalieu Baroness Mallalieu Labour 1:18 pm, 11th November 2004

My Lords, I very much sympathise with the arguments advanced by both my noble friend Lord Sewel and the noble Lord, Lord Inglewood. However, I cannot see how either of them fit the principle that this House has, so far, at any rate, adopted. We have determined that all hunting should be registered and, I think, that registration should be determined by tests, not by geography. The arguments that have been advanced are excellent and, to the best of my knowledge, totally valid. They should properly be addressed to the registrar.

I think—other noble Lords have previously expressed this view—that it would be wrong to approach the Bill at this stage by considering what might be the consequences of steps we take here when the Bill goes to another place. My noble friend Lord Campbell-Savours will remember that he promoted an amendment of this sort in another place. It did not find favour, even with the benefit of his advocacy there. Without ruling out the possibility that there may have been a change of heart, here and now, at this stage, it would be unfortunate if either noble Lord were to press his amendment to a Division. For my part, I would feel bound, in honouring the principles that we have adopted, to oppose them.

At some later stage, this proposal may re-emerge in a different form, but I hope that neither noble Lord will feel it necessary to press his amendment to a Division this afternoon.