HL Deb 15 July 1985 vol 466 cc600-1WA
Lord Melchett

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many names appear on the petitions protesting at the hunting with hounds in the New Forest which have been handed to the Forestry Commission; how many individual cards and letters have been received; what consideration has been given to the wishes of the complainants; and what replies have been sent to them.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Belstead)

Since the beginning of 1984, the Forestry Commission has received one petition signed by 4,800 people against deer hunting with hounds, and two petitions against all hunting with hounds, one signed by 3,686 people and the other by 27 people. The commission has also received almost 1,200 pre-printed postcards carrying a protest against all hunting with hounds, and over 300 letters on this subject, more than half of which were pre-printed and similar to the postcards. The commission replied only to individually written letters. The wishes of the complainants were noted but the commission remains of the view that it would not be justified in banning traditional hunting in the New Forest.