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Hunting Ban

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Liberal Democrat, Lewes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans are in place to prevent the destruction of hunting dogs in the event of a hunting ban being introduced.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The owners are responsible for the welfare of their animals. The Government would expect organisations such as the Kennel Club and the RSPCA to give advice and help on the best course of action to owners of dogs affected by any legislation such as the proposals on hunting with dogs.

Evidence to the Burns Inquiry suggests that hunts keep some 20,000 dogs for hunting. Several thousand dogs are put down every year after some six or seven years' hunting, when they are considered to have reached the end of their working lives. Some dogs presently involved in hunting are capable of being domesticated or are domestic animals and capable of rehoming. It may be the case that some dogs are pack animals which would not settle and could not be rehomed.

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