IFAW response to European Court ruling on Hunting Act

Friday, 18 December, 2009
(London - December 17, 2009) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has welcomed a landmark legal ruling that the Hunting Act does NOT breach human rights.

The challenge to the Hunting Act and the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act by the Countryside Alliance and Brian Friend failed with the European Court of Human Rights finding that the bans on hunting are there to stop this morally unjustifiable ‘sport’.

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “The European Court of Human Rights speaks for the majority of the British public in upholding the Hunting Act, a law which banned unnecessary suffering in the name of sport. It is time to move on and embrace riding to hounds without having to kill.”    

The court concluded that ‘the bans had been designed to eliminate the hunting and killing of animals for sport in a manner causing suffering and being morally objectionable’.

Prophesies that the hunt ban would end the livelihoods of many in the countryside were rightly dismissed by the court. Hunters can still enjoy the spectacle and excitement of hunting without the pursuit of ‘live quarry’ by going drag or trail hunting, which involves following a pre-laid scent.

The Court also found that the law ‘did not affect negatively the applicants’ right to private and family life’.

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