THE House of Lords has rejected a House of Commons proposal for an outright ban on hunting with dogs, ensuring the long-running battle between the two chambers of parliament will rumble on.
Some have seen the ban, already passed by Parliament, as the thin end of a wedge that will eventually lead to bans on angling practices.
The Lords voted on Tuesday by 261 to 49 in favour of allowing hunting to continue under licence. In July the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to back a complete ban on hunting with dogs.
The Hunting Bill is due to go back to the lower chamber, where MPs are likely to again vote for a total ban.
The government, which tried but failed in July to convince MPs to back a compromise solution, will then have to decide whether to use the Parliament Act to force through a complete ban, against the wishes of the Lords.
The tug-of-war between the two houses has become one of the longest running sagas in modern British parliamentary history.
MPs are refusing to back down in their demands for legislation that would mean an end to the 300-year-old tradition of hunting foxes with horses and hounds.
Last year they rode on horseback through central
Opponents of the sport say it is cruel, barbaric and completely out of place in a modern society.
Supporters — including royal heir Prince Charles — say hunting is a service to farmers who regard foxes as vermin, and that it maintains thousands of rural jobs.