The ban on fox hunting is "so bad and so ridiculous" it will eventually be changed, a former Labour Minister said yesterday.
Kate Hoey, who opposed the ban in the Commons, said: "The reality is the police know this is a law which is totally impossible for them to enforce and the bad law always ends up being changed. I'm very confident that will happen."
Her comments came after dozens of hunts turned out on Saturday for the first day of the new season - the first since the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales came into force.
Both hunt supporters and protesters claimed victory was theirs, with some hunts using a loophole which allows a fox to be killed by a bird of prey or shot if only two dogs are involved.
According to Ms Hoey, hunts were "entitled to test the law" - as they did this weekend.
Among Labour backbenchers, she did not "see any appetite to us going back to having another few hundred hours spent in Parliament talking about fox hunting" but added "it will eventually be changed".
"What's important is we don't have our police chasing over the countryside deciding whether someone's chasing rabbits or chasing foxes," she said.
"That's not what people in my constituency want the police to be doing.
"The most important thing, and I think this is something the public will more and more realise, is that this is nothing to do with animal welfare.
"The fox at the end of it all is now being killed... in much more inhumane ways - poisoned, gassed and snared."