I’ll take hunting ban bill to any restored Assembly, says Blair

Alliance Agriculture and Environment spokesperson John Blair MLA has said a restored Assembly has the potential to end hunting wild mammals with dogs in Northern Ireland, after he outlined plans to re-table his Private Members’ Bill at the first opportunity.

Hunting With Dogs John Blair

Mr Blair was speaking ahead of the annual Boxing Day hunts – a practice he has deemed as cruel and outdated.

The South Antrim MLA said: “With Stormont on its knees another Boxing Day hunt is going ahead unchallenged, as we remain the only part of the UK without such a ban. It’s extremely disappointing that the Stormont impasse has allowed this important issue to go unchecked.

“Which is exactly why we need to see Stormont up and running. In 2023 watching animals being ripped apart should not be a sporting calendar event. I fully intend to re-table my Private Members’ Bill to outlaw the practice at the earliest given opportunity.

“The Alliance Party wants to see the elimination of all cruelty towards animals and part of that is the banning of hunting wild mammals with dogs. Sinn Féin and most of the DUP voted against the bill last time, allowing it to fall. I’d urge them to rethink this position, and if and when the opportunity arises, join with Alliance to end this brutally cruel activity, which has no place in a civilised modern-day society.”