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Divided over hunting ban.

South Wales is torn over the Government's controversial plans to ban hunting with hounds.

The question of whether readers back the Hunting Act - due to come into force next month - divided you straight down the middle.

While 47.43 per cent supported a ban, 47.67 per cent opposed it.

The strongest backing for the new legislation came from the under-20s age group - 89.66 per cent - but older readers are not so convinced.

Cardiff councillor Ralph Cook, chairman of the Wales Alliance Against Cruel Sports, said: 'There is wider support for the ban than the poll shows, but people are frustrated at the length of time it has taken to bring it in. When you explain the Parliamentary process to them, they start to understand. Trying to control foxes is a waste of time - it cannot be done - but hunting groups do not understand any view other than theirs.

'If hunting does not work, it is unnecessary. It sees animals as worthless, and I do not believe they are.'

The pro-hunt lobby - which held a stormy protest outside a Cardiff hotel where Government ministers were attending a function in November - is seeking an injunction against the hunting ban.

'The poll proves there is no overall support for banning hunting with hounds,' said Countryside Alliance spokesman Darren Hughes, of Pencoed.

'Banning hunting would not save the life of one animal. All it would do is affect the livelihoods of thousands of people and set a dangerous precedent by infringing people's human rights.

'And if the Government think we are going to give up, they are very much mistaken.'
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 11, 2005
Words:268
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