Fox-hunting ban to become a law in 3 months

Britain outlawed &to=http:// ' target=_blank>fox hunting in England and Wales on Thursday as elected legislators won a dramatic standoff with the House of Lords to ban a popular country sport that is despised by many urbanites. Some hunting supporters vowed to defy the ban.

The years-long debate over outlawing a sport opponents see as simply cruel has been highly charged and deeply divisive. Scotland has previously outlawed hunting.

The chamber invoked the rarely used 1949 Parliament Act to force the ban into law despite the opposition of the unelected &to=http:// ' target=_blank>House of Lords, informs Newsday.

According to the Scotsman News, the passage of the fiercely-contested legislation is expected to trigger demonstrations and legal action from supporters of hunting, who plan to challenge the Bill on human rights grounds and question the legitimacy of the Parliament Act itself.

Peers maintained their dogged resistance to a ban until the last moment this evening, voting by 153 to 114 to retain regulated hunting.

Their refusal to budge meant that a compromise offered by MPs, who voted earlier today to delay the implementation of the ban until the end of July 2006, was struck out.

Fox-hunting – along with deer-hunting and hare-coursing with dogs – will now be banned in three months’ time.

The pro-hunt Countryside Alliance has already written to Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith saying it will challenge the legality of the use of the 1949 Parliament Act in the High Court.

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