Eight in ten people believe fox hunting belongs to the past

Eight in ten people believe fox hunting belongs to the past
Thursday, 26 December, 2013
London, UK

A new survey released on Boxing Day, a major day in the hunting calendar, from the League Against Cruel Sports, RSPCA and IFAW, shows 80 percent of the Great British public think that fox hunting should not be made legal again; 85 percent think deer hunting should not be made legal again; and 87 percent think hare hunting/coursing should not be made legal again. 1 Ipsos MORI

The survey, carried out by Ipsos MORI for the animal welfare charities, also revealed there to be no difference in the view held by those living in rural areas versus those in urban areas on the issue of legalising fox hunting. 80 percent of rural dwellers thought fox hunting should not be made legal again; the same percent for urban dwellers, highlighting that this is not a town vs country issue. 1 Ipsos MORI

The Coalition Government was quite clear in its agreement that it wanted to hold a free vote on whether to repeal the Hunting Act. The notion of returning to a time of cruelty, where hunting animals with dogs for sport was legal, is one clearly rejected by the majority of the British public.

Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, says: “Hunting is a sickeningly cruel blood sport, which, like us, the majority of the British public do not want brought back. Voting for repeal would be political suicide. We need to move forward as a nation, not backwards on matters of animal welfare, which is why we recently launched our national ‘No Joke’ online and cinema campaign to remind people of the sheer horror and animal cruelty hiding behind the ‘traditional spectacle’.”

Gavin Grant, Chief Executive of the RSPCA comments: “The fact that 80 percent of the public oppose the return of this ‘bloodsport' comes as no surprise to me. As a rural dweller I have always known that opposition to hunting with dogs has never been an issue of ‘town versus country’. This poll proves it once and for all."The message to MPs is loud and clear. Hunting wild animals with dogs is unethical, inhumane and cruel. The British people will simply not allow a totally unrepresentative elite re-introduce it.”

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “The hunts will be making their annual choreographed Boxing Day appearance with a few die-hard hunters making the usual call for repeal of the Hunting Act. The truth is the vast majority of the British public, whether they live in town or country, share IFAW’s view that bringing back a blood sport is a repugnant idea that has no place in the 21st Century.” 


Notes to Editors

1 Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1988 adults in Great Britain aged 15+.

• Interviews were carried out face-to-face, in home, using CAPI (Computer Aided Personal Interviewing Laptops), as part of the Ipsos MORI Omnibus (Capibus).
• Fieldwork was conducted between 1st - 7th November 2013. 
• The results have been weighted to reflect the known profile of the adult population.
• Results are based on all respondents unless otherwise stated.
• We asked the following question:

Question: Now a question about sports where animals are set on other animals to fight or kill them. These activities are currently illegal in the United Kingdom.
SHOWCARD A - For each one I read out, please tell me whether you think it should or should not be made legal again. Just read out the letter that applies in each case. 
ORDER IN WHICH RESPONDENTS WERE ASKED WAS ROTATED:  Fox Hunting; Deer Hunting; Hare Hunting and Coursing, Dog Fighting; Badger Baiting

  • Yes, should be made legal again
  • No, should not be made legal again
  • Don’t Know 

• On 25th November, The League launched its national awareness ‘No Joke’ campaign featuring comedian Dave Spikey, to highlight the importance of the Hunting Act in protecting wildlife. The campaign will reach five million people with adverts running across YouTube, online news sites and in over 400 cinemas up and down the country. The cinema and YouTube advert is available to watch here.

• About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. News photos, audio and video available at www.ifawimages.com

• Please contact the League’s on Duty Press Officer, Emma Sobhee on either 01483524262 or 07977920569 or alternatively please email press@league.org.uk for full polling data, queries or interview requests.

• About the League Against Cruel Sports
The League Against Cruel Sports is a registered charity that brings together people who care about animals. Like the majority of the public, we believe that cruelty to animals in the name of sport has no place in modern society. Registered charity number 1095234.  Click here to find out more about our work.

• About the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is the UK’s largest animal welfare charity.  We rescue, rehabilitate and rehome hundreds of thousands of animals each year in England and Wales.  We offer advice on caring for all animals and campaign to change laws that will protect them, which we will enforce through prosecution. Registered charity no.219099.  Click here to find out more about our work with wild animals and birds. Please contact the RSPCA press office on 07969352878 or email katya.mira@rspca.org.uk with any queries



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