The public can always tell an election is near when the photo opportunities start to increase. Just such an occasion occurred on the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act in November, when the Parliamentary Labour Party office invited MPs to have a photograph taken, ‘with a large fox holding up a sign saying “Back the ban”.’ Needless to say, I did not attend.
In his book Last Man Standing, Jack Straw says with regard to hunting:
‘To me, banning it was a nonsense issue for a serious party making a determined bid for government after 18 years in opposition. It was best left alone.’
Ten years after the Hunting Act was passed, Jack has been proven to be right. Right, not because it is fine to be cruel to animals, but because a simplistic measure like banning hunting with dogs could never properly address the wider issues surrounding wildlife, its management, its welfare and its uses and abuses by humans.