Pro-hunt campaigners lose legal ban battle

Pro-hunt campaigners have lost their bid to overturn the government's hunting ban.

The Countryside Alliance had launched a case to overturn the 2004 Hunting Act, because it had been passed by use of the Parliament Act 1949, which the group claimed was invalid.

The League Against Cruel Sports, who opposed the pro-hunt group's legal challenge, welcomed the High Court's ruling, calling it "a great day for Parliamentary democracy". League Chairman, John Cooper, said: "Any attempt to seek an injunction to delay implementation of the Hunting Act must be rigorously opposed. It would set an appalling precedent that could allow anyone who does not like a piece of legislation to delay its implementation through spurious legal challenges."

The Countryside Alliance has said that the Hunting Act is invalid, because it was forced through by using the Parliament Act, which allows the House of Commons to overrule the House of Lords, after the Lords had ruled against the ban. The group argued that the Parliament Act was invalid, because it had never been passed by the House of Lords.

The hunting ban is now set to come into effect on February 18. However, the Countryside Alliance is expected to appeal and seek an injunction to delay the commencement of the ban.

The group is also launching a separate challenge claiming the hunting ban is a breach of human rights. The government has said that it would not oppose such an injunction.


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16 February 2005
Pro-hunt supporters lose hunting ban appeal
The latest appeal by pro-hunt campaigners, Countryside Alliance, to overturn the hunting ban, has been rejected by the Appeal Court. The group had argued that the government's Hunting Act, which becomes law on February 18, is invalid, because the 1949 Parliament Act was used to introduce the act, following opposition in the House of Lords.
13 October 2005
Hunting ban upheld by House of Lords
The Countryside Alliance has failed in its bid to challenge the legality of the ban on hunting with dogs. The countryside campaigners had argued that the Hunting Act was invalid, because it had been pushed through Parliament using the 1949 Parliament Act, which they said was not legal.
17 February 2005
Hunting ban comes into force
The Hunting Act will come into force tonight, in spite of opposition from pro-hunt campaigners. From midnight tonight, it will be illegal to use a dog to hunt a wild mammal in England and Wales. Hare coursing will also be banned.
07 January 2005
Animal rights protestors to challenge hunting ban delay
Anti-hunt protestors have pledged to fight a proposed delay on the hunting ban, which is due to come into force on February 18. Pro-hunting group, the Countryside Alliance, had requested an injunction to delay the ban, while they attempt to have it over-turned in the High Court.
25 January 2005
Pro-hunt group mount court challenge to ban
The Countryside Alliance will continue their fight against the government's anti-hunting ban in the High Court today. The pro-hunt group will challenge the legal validity of the Parliament Act 1949, which was used by the House of Commons to force through the anti-hunting bill, over-ruling the House of Lords, which has objected to the bill.