Wales politics

Call for fox hunting to be devolved to Wales

Huntsmen and their hounds Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Currently up to two dogs can be used to flush out foxes to be shot under the legislation

Powers over hunting with dogs should be devolved to Wales, according to the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire.

Roger Williams said controlling foxes in Wales was completely different to controlling them in most parts of England due to the land's geography.

He said the current law, which allows two hounds to flush out a fox to be shot, was not enough and hunting with packs of dogs would be better.

But Julie Morgan AM said there was no appetite for the legislation to change.

She added that even if it was devolved, the majority of Labour assembly members were opposed to the sport of hunting.

'Have discussions'

It is 10 years since the Hunting Bill came into force in England and Wales, amid mass protests by those in favour and against.

Under the legislation foxes can no longer be killed by dogs as part of a hunt.

One or two dogs can be used to "flush out" - remove from cover - a fox, which should then be shot.

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Media captionRoger Williams MP and Julie Morgan AM on whether the Hunting Bill should be devolved

However, Liberal Democrat MP Mr Williams said the method was not adequate for controlling foxes in vast rural areas of Wales, particularly on moorland, in conifer forests and on uplands.

"Controlling foxes in Wales is entirely different to controlling foxes in most parts of England and so I think it would be very, very good if the legislation regarding fox control is delegated to Wales," he told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement.

He said Wales should look to follow Scotland where hunting with a pack of dogs is permitted.

"We can have those discussions and come forward with legislation that's totally applicable to Wales," he added.

Different solution

Mrs Morgan, the Labour AM for Cardiff North, said she welcomed the idea that powers over hunting with dogs could be devolved so the issues could be debated in Wales.

But she poured cold water on Mr Williams' thoughts that Wales could offer a different solution to fox control.

"The majority of the Labour party in Wales were very opposed to any weakening of the hunting legislation," she said.

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