The process began 31/03/10 with the launch of a consultation document outlining the aims of the bill at Parliament Building, Stormont.
Revealing the document to the media Mr. Wilson MLA said: “Introducing a ban on hunting in Northern Ireland will bring us into line with the rest of the UK. I personally have a long standing opposition to blood sports and was a regular protestor against the hare coursing at Crebilly in the 1970s. I still remember one particularly cold Boxing Day listening to the shouting as the hare was torn apart. I believe then, as I do now, that blood sports are barbaric and that fox hunting, stag hunting and hare coursing have no place in a civilized society and should be outlawed in the same way as we outlawed cock fighting and bear bating.”
“Anyone who disputes the cruelty of hunting has only to look at the recent incident which took place in Jerrettspass where a pack of hounds chased Pip a family pet dog and tore him into pieces. The children who were walking with Pip were traumatized but the hunt continued without acknowledging the incident. This callous indifference by hunt members to the barbaric attack on the terrier highlights the insensitivity of many of the huntsmen to the suffering of animals. Hunting has no place in the 21st century and seeing animals ripped to shreds by packs of dogs cannot be considered a sport.”
“The introduction of the 2004 Act has changed the mind set of the majority of hunts in England and Wales. They have turned to drag hunting which provides all the excitement and colour of the chase, protecting the tradition without the cruelty.”
“I reject claims that a hunting ban will result in thousands of horses and hounds being put down or we will see a massive increase in rural unemployment. In fact the ban has had very little effect on rural life in other parts of the UK. In fact a recent MORI opinion poll showed that 75% of the UK population supports the ban, including 7 out of 10 in rural communities.”