WMN readers say 'no' in fox hunting poll
In a close run race, Western Morning News readers have rejected the idea that fox hunting with a full pack of hounds should be allowed.
The online poll was launched after the paper revealed Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was coming under pressure from a cross-party alliance of MPs to scrap a law prohibiting farmers from using more than two dogs to flush out foxes.
More than 10,000 people voted in the poll and it was neck and neck throughout between those who supported hunting with hounds and those who did not.
In the end the no camp triumphed by the merest of margins with 5,257 people, or 52 per cent of the vote.
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Those in favour numbered 4,794, or 48 per cent of the vote.
A total of 18 people said they were not sure.
The poll closed yesterday, the day after Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said he had "sympathy" with relaxing the ban on fox-hunting.
Farmers say pest control measures permitted under the 2004 Hunting Act are not working. The coalition Government has pledged to stage a free vote on repealing it altogether.