Labour has set out a £4.5m funding boost to fight hare coursing, fox hunting and other wildlife crimes.
The plans will double the number of police officers tasked to prosecute wildlife crimes from 88 to 170, increasing the capacity of rural crime units to prosecute wildlife crime. The additional officers will also help tackle other crimes in rural areas such as livestock theft and dog fighting.
This plan is just part of Labour’s animal welfare manifesto which plans to:
- Close loopholes in the 2004 Hunting Act that in practice allow the continuation of illegal hunting of foxes, deer and hares.
- Introduce a ‘recklessness’ clause to prevent trail hunts being used as cover for the illegal hunting of wild mammals.
- Remove the exemption for ‘research and observation’ hunting.
- Remove the exemption for ‘use of dogs below ground to protect birds for shooting’.
- Review the penalties available under the 2004 Hunting Act.
- Consult on the introduction of custodial sentences for illegal hunting.
Sue Hayman, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said:
“Labour's animal welfare manifesto is the most radical animal welfare plan anywhere in the world.
“We are calling time on those who have been allowed to get away with illegally hunting, maiming and killing wild animals such as deer, hen harriers, foxes and hares.”
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