CLA Warns of Backlash If Hunting Outlawed; LANDOWNERS: Ban Would Jeopardise the Rural Vote Says Association

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 9, 2002 | Go to article overview

CLA Warns of Backlash If Hunting Outlawed; LANDOWNERS: Ban Would Jeopardise the Rural Vote Says Association


Byline: SHEILA COLEMAN

A BAN on hunting could trigger renewed damage in a countryside still reeling from the foot-andmouth disaster, say landowners.

As the Government launches a further consultation exercise on the controversial issue, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) claims outlawing hunting with hounds will destroy thousands of jobs, jeopardise conservation, and allow "ignorance and prejudice to criminalise a major social and cultural institution for traditional rural communities".

The CLA has also warned of a political "backlash" from rural voters at the next General Election.

Mid Wales CLA regional director Julian Salmon said, "The CLA believes that a ban on hunting would not benefit hard-pressed rural communities in any way. It would not create a single job, build a single affordable home, or maintain or improve a single wildlife habitat. On the contrary, a ban would reduce employment, undermine the economics of hedgerow and cover maintenance, add to the costs of farming and remove a valuable focus of social activity."

He said foxes and other hunted prey caused economic loss and had to be controlled.

"Hunting with hounds allows pest control on difficult terrain where other methods of control would be ineffective. It has not been proven that hunting is more cruel than other methods of control, so this argument cannot be used to justify a ban. Hunting provides up to 8,000 full-time jobs, as well as income for many more individuals. …

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