Catholic Concern for Animals is calling on all MPs to support animal welfare and oppose all animal cruelty.
The group’s call comes following Theresa May’s promise of a free vote on overturning the ban on fox hunting in the next Parliament if she is returned as Prime Minister.
She said she was in favour of the outlawed activity but MPs would be given the final say.
David Cameron had promised to put the divisive issue to Parliament but did not go ahead with the plan due to a lack of support and Mrs May’s pledge has now alarmed animal welfare groups, including Catholic Concern for Animals (CCA).
“Catholic Concern for Animals is dismayed that there may be further attempts to repeal the existing legislation on Hunting with Hounds,” Chris Fegan, CCA chief executive, told The Universe.
He stressed that CCA is non-party political, goes out of its way not to engage in party political controversy and is proud to have Catholic MP patrons from all three of the main democratic traditions in the UK who share their concern and support.
“We therefore are reluctant to make comments during a British General Election, however we would be remiss in our duties to our members, supporters and our ethos if we did not express our opposition to the re-introduction of fox hunting which has been raised as an issue by the Prime Minister very recently,” he said.
He noted that in all opinion polls on the issue over many years, a huge majority of the British people – at around 84 per cent of people asked – also oppose a repeal of the Hunting Act.
“Indeed, I understand that in every single parliamentary constituency in the country there is majority opposition to bringing back fox hunting,” he added.
“We therefore call on MPs from all parties who may be elected on 8th June to support animal welfare and oppose animal cruelty and particularly on this most controversial of all animal welfare issues.
“We also ask MPs – and especially Catholic MPs – to also oppose all animal cruelty in their work at Westminster and beyond and to support instead a positive animal welfare agenda.”
Picture: The Holderness Hunt in East Yorkshire at their first meet of the season at Rise Park near Hull. (John Giles/PA).