Azara Blog: Ban on hunting with dogs upheld

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Date published: 2005/07/29

The BBC says:

Pro-hunt campaigners have lost their second High Court challenge to laws banning hunting with dogs.

The Countryside Alliance tried to use European human rights laws to overturn the ban in England and Wales.

They said the ban robbed people of the right to work, destroyed businesses and ruined people's social lives. Opponents of hunting say it is cruel.

The ban was upheld by two judges on Friday but the pro-hunt group plans to appeal against the judgement.

The ban was forced through the House of Lords last year using the Parliament Act after MPs repeatedly voted in favour of outlawing hunting with dogs.

Lord Justice May and Mr Justice Moses ruled the Hunting Act had "a legitimate aim" and was proportionate.

They said: "We consider that there was sufficient material available to the House of Commons for them to conclude that hunting with dogs is cruel."

In any case, there was "a reasonable basis" for deciding that "taken as a whole, hunting foxes with dogs causes more suffering than shooting them".

The judges said there were "two irreconcilable opposing views" which were both reasonable. A majority of MPs had then decided it was necessary to pass the ban.

It was "reasonably open to the majority of the democratically-elected House of Commons to conclude that this measure was necessary in the democratic society which had elected them", added the judges.

At a hearing earlier this month, Countryside Alliance lawyers argued the ban was in many ways "sectarian" and would cause "devastation" to rural communities.

Amazing that the judges were so rational. Unfortunately the European human rights legislation is used as an excuse for all sorts of challenges in the courts, because the litigants have no other real case, and this just degrades the meaning of "human rights". Fortunately here it did not work.

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