Monday 14th October
Under the proposals the law banning farmers from using more than two dogs to flush out foxes and shoot them would be scrapped allowing them to use a full pack.
The move, which is backed by a cross-party alliance of MPs, would be the first change to one of the most contentious pieces of legislation in modern times.
Some 10 years have now passed since Parliament was in the throes of one of the great political battles of recent times. Not over the invasion of Iraq, which was by then in its fifth month and showing signs of the bloody disaster it would become; nor even over that hardy perennial of political discord, Europe. No, the issue that most exercised our MPs and peers in the autumn of 2003 and for much of the following 12 months was foxhunting.
Telegraph: Poll shows fox attacks on rise as David Cameron signals support for hunting ban relaxation
Polling among sheep farmers found that three quarters said they had seen an increase in losses to predators since the ban on foxhunting came into force in England and Wales eight years ago.
They are calling for strict limits on the circumstances in which marksmen can shoot foxes to protect livestock to be eased, in what would be the first change to Act since it was passed in 2004 after a bitter and drawn-out political battle.
David Cameron risks “squandering” an opportunity to win back disgruntled Conservative voters unless he moves quickly to introduce a partial relaxation of the hunting ban, backbenchers claim.
At a meeting attended by more than 40 MPs in Westminster last week, backbenchers accused party whips of being overcautious and dragging their feet over the proposal which farmers say would help them protect flocks without an acrimonious attempt to repeal the ban altogether.
To see a copy of the polling commissioned by the FWFP click here