Tuesday, 20 April 2010


In a shock declaration on the TV Politics Show, the Bridgwater & West Somerset LibDem candidate Theo Butt-Phillips (who lives in Wells) said that if elected he would "Vote to repeal the hunting act in a free vote ". This puts him at odds with popular opinion yet clearly reflects how the parties and candidates stand on the issue. All 22 Labour candidates and all 15 Green candidates in the south west would retain the hunting ban while the right wing parties (Conservative & UKIP) show a majority for repealing the ban. In the case of the libDems 13 would retain 3 would repeal and 4 are undecided.

Ivor Annets from the League Against Cruel Sports was so shocked by the 'progressive' candidates stance that he asked "Would you also bring back badger baiting!!? 80 % support the hunting ban so why do you want to put the clock back!?" The Lib Dem replied "Leave it to the farmers and local hunts who know the best way to deal with it. Let the Countryside get on with it".

Labour campaign organiser Brian Smedley said "While trying to play to the Tory vote or maybe just plain confused - Butt Phillips has clearly shot himself in the foot and alienated many of his potential supporters. A Lib Dem vote always was and still is a wasted vote for an opportunist bunch of unconnected individuals who couldn't hold a line if their laundry depended on it!"

Labour candidate Kathy Pearce included suporting the Hunting ban in her Top 10 campaign issues when she launched her candidacy and is a passionate opponent of hunting. In a statement she said;-

" I strongly support the current hunting ban, on the following grounds:

1. I have always believed that in a civilised society, the act of hunting is unacceptably cruel and barbaric. Whilst I acknowledge that there are occasions when pest control is necessary, exemptions within the Hunting Act are designed to allow farmers, landowners and managers to carry out humane pest control on their land. I agree with the League Against Cruel Sports that this should be carried out by trained markesmen, who are competent in such activities.

2. The predicted dire effects on the rural economy have not come to pass. A recent Ipsos Mori poll has shown that 72% of the rural population do not want hunting with dogs to be made legal again. There is evidence to suggest that there has been an increase in interest in drag hunting, which could be down to the fact that the cruelty element has been removed.

3. I strongly support the findings of the recent poll carried out by the League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare that:

75% of the public support the ban on hunting
84% support the ban on deer and stage hunting
85% support the ban on hare hunting and coursing.

I therefore believe that the Conservative proposal to repeal the ban would indeed be a retrograde step for this country."


  1. Hi Kathy

    Do you think your stance on hunting is a vote winner in the rural parts of your constituency? Come on lets blog ! It could be fun you know!

  2. I;m not just "trying to win votes in a rural constituency" you know - i;m not opportunistic like Theo 'badger baiter' Butt-Phillips, it;s just my views - hope you share them.

  3. Hi Kathy
    I understand that it is just your view. Just seems a bit of a vote loser! I did not know Mr Butt Phillips was a badger baiter but I will be sure to ask him! My view is that hunting ban that is not able to be enforced, with no attempt made, has made a mockery of Parliament. I know that the welfare of fox and deer has not improved one bit. I also think it is of minimal importance to the country. The labour party were busy with this when they could have been doing something more important. My son nearly died in Musgrove as there were not enough surgeons to perform an emergency caesarian. But the labour party seem to think this is important. Just my opinion of course.

  4. Its just too irresistable not to argue with you mr PWS...i'm sorry to hear of the experience of your son and so couldn't comment on such a private matter which is so awful for you and must have been very frightening ...but i can comment on fox hunting.
    BP was declared a BB on the Politics programme the other week when he told an Exford audience that he would vote in favour of repealing the hunting ban )and lost half his traditional voters)..i have no such intention so i trust you accept thats my view . Opinion polls also show some 80% supporting the ban so i wouldnt say we're out of touch. And we're also united on it...is that ok?

  5. Kathy

    I am pleased you cannot resist me....I was beginning to feel a little lonely on here! :-)

    I am obviously not trying to suggest that someone (or you) in the labour party does not care about the life of my son. I am sure we are not so different...we are both Somerset, both born and brought up in the constituency. My point entirely is the amount of time spent on hunting...I just cannot believe it is mentioned by either side. You know as well as I do that the act does not work, and foxes and deer are not being killed in less cruel ways. And people are not telling the truth. The government says the act is working, LACS says it is not. Only one organisation is correct. Which do you believe?

    I take your point on opinion polls but you know you can pick and choose them as well as I can. If you do a hunting poll in Islington 97% will be against it. If you do one with farmers on Exmoor 92% are going to be pro hunting. Which body of people do you think knows more about the subject? If you do a poll on capital punishment there is a fair chance a majority will be for it.......but we dont have it do we?

    I really dont know what Badger baiting has to do with hunting at all !!

  6. well it has very little to do with hunting other than some people might argue its a form of pest control like fox hunting and deer hunting might be called.

    i just raise the quote as the league against cruel sports guy levelled it at the lid dem candidate after he'd comeout on tv in Exford as pro hunting

    i quite like badgers. But i couldn't eat a whole one...

  7. I agree Labour candidate Kathy Pearce comments. Top 10 campaign issue about hunting shared in this blog. That was amazing. Really good post.