HALESOWEN MP Sylvia Heal MP has helped launch a national campaign to support the ban on hunting wild animals with dogs.

The ‘Back the Ban’ campaign was launched by Hilary Benn, Sylvia and a host of celebrities including Tony Robinson and Patrick Stewart.

This new year is the fifth since the Bill to ban hunting with dogs was passed. The ban has already resulted in dozens of prosecutions, and the forecast dire effects on rural communities have not come to pass.

But the Hunting Act is under threat as pro-hunt activists prepare to spend thousands of pounds in backing Tory candidates committed to bringing back the cruel sport.

Sylvia said: “I remember how long parliament spent introducing the ban on fox-hunting and how many letters I had from constituents supporting the ban.

"Overwhelmingly the public still support the ban - 75 per cent of people nationally and 72 per cent in rural areas.

"Instead of focusing on what should be the real priorities, jobs, the NHS, school and despite overwhelming public support for the ban, the Tories have pledged to repeal the ban if they get into power.

"For David Cameron, getting the Act repealed is a top priority.

"He used to hunt, until his PR advisers told him not to; he talked about hunting in his first ever speech to Parliament; and he has said that if he becomes Prime Minister he will get rid of the hunting ban as soon as possible.

“But, like the vast majority of people in Halesowen and Rowley Regis, I think the barbaric act of letting dogs tear foxes to pieces with their teeth shouldn’t return to our countryside.

“That’s why I’m supporting www.backtheban.com and I’m urging everyone in Halesowen and Rowley Regis to sign up to the ‘Back the Ban’ campaign too.”