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Hunting Hearings

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The Committee of Inquiry into Hunting

The hearings took place at Portcullis House on 9, 10 and 11 September 2002 as part of the consultation process announced by Alun Michael to the House of Commons in a formal statement on 21 March 2002. Both the content of the hearings and the names of the experts invited to give evidence were agreed by the three main interest groups (the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals, the Countryside Alliance and the Middle Way Group).

The hearings took as their starting point the findings of the Burns Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs and were chaired by Mr Michael. The focus was on the key principles of preventing cruelty and recognising utility in the management and control of wild mammals. These two principles were at the heart of the consultation, which identified as much common ground as possible between the various interest groups in order to develop robust law that stands the test of time.

A session with Lord Burns opened the hearings on the morning of Monday 9 September. Throughout the three days representatives from the three groups, together with Alun Michael, discussed with the invited experts issues including the effectiveness of hunting (particularly fox, deer, hare and mink), the comparative suffering caused by hunting with dogs and by alternative means of pest control and management, and the potential effect that applying the principles of cruelty and utility would have on people involved in related work.

The schedule and transcripts of the hearings are available electronically and the video recordings of the event are placed in the library of the House of Commons.

  Page last modified: 4 September, 2003
Page created:10 December, 2002
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