We had a great ‘breakfast briefing’ with the “Blue Fox” – Conservatives Against Hunting – group at the House of Commons today – set up by The League Against Cruel Sports – LACS, and endorsed by IFAW and the RSPCA. I am still buzzing from it.
I have not felt as optimistic about the future of the Hunting Act since we began our Save-Me Campaign before the election.
This amazing compassionate group was just a tiny seed of a campaign 9 months ago. Lorraine and Chris Platt talked to us about their dreams of gathering together animal-aware, compassionate Conservatives way back – this time last year. Few people took them seriously. How could an anti-hunting group possibly flourish within the Tory Party, when their leader was promising to bring back those vile sports as part of his campaign to get elected?! Well, we took them very seriously, I am proud to say. With very small resources and huge determination, these pioneers have worked, and built, and encouraged, and never taken no for an answer. And the result, seen today, was the consolidation of a fast-growing, emerging pressure group for Animal Welfare, with great power and conviction.
It was a joy to hear these guys today, a small band of very brave young Tory MP’s, expressing exactly the same conviction as we do, that animals matter, and are worthy of respect. And, moreover, that they are willing to risk their future promotion prospects in the Party, to stand up for what they believe, and what the vast majority of their constituents believe, to be morally right. We salute them.
I am not trumpeting Victory for those who seek to protect our wild animals from cruelty – not yet – but the Wind of Change is certainly beginning to gather strength. I believe, and have believed for a long time, that David Cameron, in championing a grisly throw-back ‘sport’, in which wild animals are pulled limb from limb by packs of dogs, is seriously out of touch with the majority of Conservative voters. He speaks of modernising his party, yet takes sides with the tiny, noisy minority who are desperately trying to put the clock back, and claw back their right to kill, torture, and maim in the name of nothing but their own need for violent pleasure. The very existence of the brave, and evidently healthily growing Conservatives against Hunting group proves that the popular image of the Conservatives as callous and uncaring towards animals is far from being applicable to the young progressive section of the party.
The Save-Me campaign has from the beginning carefully guarded its fundamental a-political stance; throughout the campaign we have stuck to our policy of supporting anyone in ANY party who is dedicated to fighting cruelty to animals. This is a very good day for us, and for all who care about our precious legacy of native wild animals. For now it is finally clear that decent Animal Welfare is a principle which crosses all political boundaries. We at Save-Me are very proud to confirm our support of the Blue Fox group. And we thank them for the work they have already done to push legalised hunting with dogs further back into history.
Where it belongs.