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June 21, 2012

Talking Hares at the House of Commons

Humane Society International/UK

  • Mark Jones with Adrian Sanders, MP. David Mitchell

HSI/UK co-hosted a reception to raise the important issue of the need for increased protection for hares at the House of Commons in London alongside members of Conservatives Against Fox Hunting.

The event, on 19th June 2012, was kindly hosted by Neil Parish MP, the Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group For Animal Welfare; Adrian Sanders MP, the instigator of Early Day Motion 2531 calling for a close season for hares; and Angela Smith MP, whose constituency includes part of the Peak District, home to the only population of mountain hares in England.

Find out more: Watch our video

Well-known naturalist, author and television presenter Bill Oddie OBE attended the event and spoke of his keen interest in protecting hares, he told HSI UK: “Years ago people used to think that hares were witches. Then they realized that though they weren't witches, they were still wonderfully mysterious. They could appear and disappear, and they could run like the wind. They fought, and they danced, but they were essentially loners. Hares are indeed magical animals. No disrespect to rabbits, but it is the hare that is truly a symbol of the history of the British countryside. Hares deserve care, respect and all the protection they need."

Mark Jones, executive director of HSI UK, said: “We are delighted with the interest shown by all the Members of Parliament who attended the event. Our aim was to raise awareness with MPs about the plight of hares, whose numbers have dropped by 80 percent over the last century yet who are still afforded so little protection from persecution, even during their breeding season. HSI calls on the government to introduce legislation to protect these iconic countryside mammals at the earlier opportunity."

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