I appreciate the strong feelings many people have on this issue and I share your concern for safeguarding the welfare of animals. This is why I have always said that I would vote against a repeal of the Hunting Act.

On 15 July, the Government will give the House of Commons the opportunity to make some technical amendments to the Act. Conservative MPs will have a free vote.

I believe that the current exemptions to the Act are sufficient. I will therefore be voting against these changes.