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Animal activists: Don't vote Tory'

PUBLISHED: 17:20 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:17 12 August 2010

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Members of the Albrighton Woodland Hunt gather before the start of their Boxing Day meet at the ancestral home of Lord Cobham on December 26, 2008, at Hagley Hall, near Brmingham, England. Thousands of people are expected to attend Boxing Day hunts across the United Kingdom, three years after the hunting of foxes with dogs became illegal, the dogs can follow the scent but cannot kill the fox.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Members of the Albrighton Woodland Hunt gather before the start of their Boxing Day meet at the ancestral home of Lord Cobham on December 26, 2008, at Hagley Hall, near Brmingham, England. Thousands of people are expected to attend Boxing Day hunts across the United Kingdom, three years after the hunting of foxes with dogs became illegal, the dogs can follow the scent but cannot kill the fox. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

DISMAYED animal lovers have appealed to the public not to vote Conservative after the party revealed plans to axe the hunting ban. The documents, which have been drawn up by senior lawyers and the Countryside Alliance, outline proposals for a Hunt Regul

DISMAYED animal lovers have appealed to the public not to vote Conservative after the party revealed plans to axe the hunting ban.

The documents, which have been drawn up by senior lawyers and the Countryside Alliance, outline proposals for a Hunt Regulatory Authority (HRA) that could lead to the revival of hunting foxes with dogs.

Animal rights campaigner Jan Yarker, from West Wickham, said: "People should not vote for the Conservatives, they do not have high regard for the animals.

"We are all dreading them getting in, David Cameron is pro-hunt. It really is on the cards if they get in, it's a big threat.

"The British public do care about animals and a lot of people will feel the same as I do - it goes across the board and the Conservatives should not under estimate this."

The hunting ban was introduced in February 2005 after the then-speaker Michael Martin invoked the Parliament Act, meaning it went through without the approval of the House of Lords.

It prohibited the use of dogs in fox hunting, deer-hunting and hare-coursing in England and Wales.

Eddie Williams, who runs Willow Wildlife Rescue, saving the lives of hundreds of creatures in Bromley and Bexley every year, said he found hunting repulsive.

He said: "I cannot understand anyone who would want to kill an animal. At least if it was fair and they did it with their own hands like a solider that would be more equal - but they don't, they have to use dogs and horses.

"I have seen animals in pain and I have seen them hurting, and it chokes me.

"It is going on even with the ban - they are baiting badgers and foxes in Biggin Hill. Nobody can stop them."

A spokesperson for The League Against Cruel Sports said: "We will work very hard to make people aware of the position of their MP. Fifty-six per cent of people say they would change their vote if their candidate supports repeal."

The Tories believe the formation of the HRA, an independent body, will better regulate hunts and enable a proper complaints procedure.

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: "MPs will be free to vote how they wish. We will use the shortest amount of Parliament time possible and not use up the 700 hours it took for the government to bring the ban in to force.

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