Ashfield MP calls for clamp down on illegal hunting

Gloria De Piero says custodial sentences could be used to deter illegal hunting
Gloria De Piero says custodial sentences could be used to deter illegal hunting

Animal welfare is an issue that my constituents feel strongly about, writes Gloria De Piero MP.

Last week marked the anniversary of the Hunting Act 2004 being passed and I was proud to be able to celebrate this milestone, which was a great achievement of the last Labour Government.

Now, Labour is campaigning for the eradication of loopholes in this Act, such as trail hunting.

Trail hunting has arisen since the ban on hunting was introduced, and is an entirely different practice to drag hunting, which is a traditional and legitimate pursuit.

There is evidence that trail hunting is being used as a cover for the illegal hunting of live wild animals.

Labour would also consult on bringing forward other amendments to the Act which would include reviewing sentencing to ensure effective deterrence, such as using custodial sentences.

When a loved one goes missing, families are left in an excruciating limbo, hoping for the best while fearing the worst.

This unbearable situation can be made worse by the legal limbo they also find themselves in, struggling to gain the legal right to become guardians of their loved ones’ affairs.

There has been an ongoing fight for families to be given the legal authority to act on a missing relative’s behalf after 90 days of them being declared missing.

It would be similar to situations when a loved one no longer has the mental capacity to look after their own affairs.

Currently, unless a presumption of death certificate is gained, they cannot cancel direct debits or contact companies with whom the missing person had energy or bank accounts.

The Government has, quite simply, dragged its feet on the implementation of the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017, despite it having received Royal Assent with the support of both sides of the House.

Two years later, and families still are not able to access an already agreed solution to their ongoing trauma and it is not good enough.

It is time that they gave these families the support they need.