PUBLISHED: 11:13 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 10 May 2017
A win for the Tories team could be bad news for foxes as the PM pledges a free vote to overturn hunting ban.
Theresa May has outraged animal lovers with a pledge to hold a free vote on overturning the ban on fox hunting.
The Prime Minister said she was in favour of the outlawed activity but MPs would be given the final say.
David Cameron had promised to put the divisive issue to Parliament but did not go ahead with the plan due to a lack of support.
During a visit to a factory in Leeds, May said: “This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against.
“As it happens, personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting, and we maintain our commitment, we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party, to allow a free vote.
“It would allow Parliament the opportunity to take the decision on this.”
Animal welfare campaigners criticised the move, pointing to a survey last year which revealed 84% of people were opposed to making fox hunting legal again.
David Bowles, head of public affairs for the RSPCA, said the Hunting Act had proved to be a useful piece of the legislative framework protecting wildlife in England and Wales.
“Fox hunting is a barbaric and brutal practice that has no place in civilised society.
“The Hunting Act was introduced to end the suffering caused to wild animals by chasing and killing them with a pack of hounds.
“Other blood sports such as dog fighting and cockfighting have been consigned to history and nobody is pushing for those to be legalised. Why should the hunting of Britain’s wild mammals be treated any differently?” he said.
League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Eduardo Goncalves said: “Britain’s voters have been waiting to hear what the next government will be doing on key issues like the NHS, education and Brexit.
“It’s a shame that Parliamentary time will be spent on trying to make fox hunting legal again.
“Are we really going to turn the clock back to a time when killing animals for fun was legal?
“I’m sure many current and future MPs of all colours feel the same way, so we hope they stand up and be counted when the time comes.”