HL Deb 04 February 2003 vol 644 c22WA
Lord Henley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have considered any evidence that reveals that a significant number of farmers would resort to the use of shotguns or snares in the event of a hunting ban; and whether they have assessed the relative suffering that might occur as a result of these methods of control. [HL1157]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty)

My right honourable friend, the Minister for Rural Affairs (Alun Michael) has considered all of the evidence submitted to him as part of the consultation exercise, including the three days of public hearings held in Portcullis House in September.

The key purpose of the Bill is to prevent cruelty associated with hunting with dogs. To that end it establishes a process which will ensure that hunting is permitted only where it is to be undertaken for a specified pest control purpose and where no other method of achieving that purpose that would cause less suffering is reasonably available. However, the Bill is only about hunting. It does not seek to control all methods of pest control, and does not prevent people using any other method of pest control that is legal including the use of shotguns or other kinds of gun.