Is Great Britain's Labour Party Turning Its Back on Animal Rights Activists

Of course the Labour Party isn’t planning to do anything to resolve the impasse over fox Hunting with hounds until after the upcoming scheduled elections. The Daily Telegraph reports that after the election, however, Labour plans to abandon the ban on such hunting — which it promised to deliver for animal rights activists — and instead go along with a middle-of-the-road proposal to establish a joint committee of the Commons and the Lords to resolve the issues.

In its recent election manifesto, rather than come out and say that it would invoke the Parliament Act to force a ban on fox hunting through over the objections of the Lords, the Labour Party simply said,
“If the issue continues to be blocked [by the House of Lords], we will look at how the disagreement can be resolved.”

According to the Daily Telegraph,

The Labour manifesto signals the Government coming off the fence towards a more partisan view: that the sport should remain as long as it is regulated. The wording went through several drafts and only a handful of the most senior Labour figures knew what the final version of the manifesto would say.

It will be very interesting to see how animal rights activists react to this latest twist. Where 18 months or so ago it looked like the activists had Labour on their side, the extreme reaction involving Huntingdon Life Sciences and other issues seems to have begun to pull Labour away from its former flirtation with the animal rights community. A concerted backlash against Labour by activists upset over its sudden change of heart on fox hunting could go a long way to making such a break permanent.


Labour moves away from fox hunting ban. David Cracknell, The Daily Telegraph (UK), May 20, 2001

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