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Country News - 2004

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Hopes fade for hunting compromise

Wednesday 13 October 2004

HOPES that the Government might allow fox hunting to continue under a licensing system took a severe blow in the House of Lords yesterday when peers passes the bill back to the House of Commons unaltered.

There is still time for the Lords to make amendments to the bill - which would ban all hunting with dogs - but in yesterday's ten hour debate, Labour peer Lord Whitty announced that any changes would be unacceptable to MPs and the total ban would be "forced through" the Lords.

This means that the Government is now prepared to use the Parliament Act to over-rule the Lords in a move which will further enrage many MPs and thousands of country folk, whether or not they support hunting.

In the past, the Parliament Act has only been at times of great constitutional crisis and it has been openly reported that Prime Minister Tony Blair would be reluctant to take such an extreme measure on what is essentially a moral issue.


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