The CSHA is an initiative by Protect Our Wild Animals [POWA] and is endorsed by the Hunt Monitors Association [HMA]
REIN IN THE HUNTERS - STRENGTHEN THE HUNTING ACT
Many organised Hunts still regularly chase and kill wild mammals for 'sport' under the guise of 'trail hunting'. The Hunting Act 2004 allows them to take hounds to where they know 'quarry' will be found and, when the dogs chase and attack them, to simply claim 'accident'.
The prosecution has the often impossible task of proving they intended this outcome. We need a 'recklessness' clause added to the Act. Many laws criminalise reckless behaviour. For instance, the road-using public would be at much greater risk of serious injury or death if reckless driving was not illegal. Similar protection is necessary for wild animals such as foxes, deer and hares if the Hunting Act is to fulfil its purpose.
The CSHA is an initiative by Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) to persuade a Labour government to strengthen the Act they introduced to allow easier enforcement by the authorities and to enhance deterrence. Tens of thousands of hunters, even before the Hunting Act became law, signed a Declaration stating they would defy the ban. Because of loopholes in the law, they can continue to hunt and kill live quarry with little or no fear of sanction. The Hunting Act 2004 desperately needs strengthening to ensure it properly protects wild animals from the tortuous deaths it was designed to prevent.
CALLING ON ALL LIKE MINDED NATIONAL TRUST MEMBERS
VOTE FOR THE RESOLUTION TO BAN 'TRAIL HUNTING'
Voting is now available on the National Trust's web site for members who wish to vote on members resolutions.
Members’ resolution (No.3) about trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise on National Trust land:
'That the members agree that the National Trust will ban trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise on their land, to prevent potential illegal activity in breach of the Hunting Act 2004 and the protection of Badgers Act 1992 and to prevent damage to other flora and fauna by hunts, their hounds and their followers.'
If you are not attending the AGM in person, please vote on line by following the clear instructions and vote FOR the resolution.
https://secure.cesvotes.com/V3-1-0/nt21/en/login Info here: https://secure.cesvotes.com/V3-1-0/Download.ashx?file=R1017_1/agm_booklet.pdf#page=4 where you can also find postal voting forms.
Members’ resolution about trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise on National Trust land
'That the members agree that the National Trust will ban trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise on their land, to prevent potential illegal activity in breach of the Hunting Act 2004 and the protection of Badgers Act 1992 and to prevent damage to other flora and fauna by hunts, their hounds and their followers.'
National Trust Board of Trustees' position
"We note the resolution and are keen to hear the views of the membership on this subject"
Thames Valley Police have said they’re not planning to take any action against the Kimblewick Hunt following the killing of a fox in December 2020.
The CCTV footage shows the Kimblewick hounds chasing a fox through an industrial estate that they had no permission to be in, encouraged on by the huntsman Andrew Sallis. Filmed on multiple cameras it shows elements of the chase and after the kill a member of hunt staff can be seen feeding the dead fox to the hounds.
Thames Valley Police informed the landowners that they’ve interviewed huntsman Sallis under caution but wouldn’t be proceeding “because Mr Sallis has provided a ‘clear and cogent’ account of what occurred on the day.” and that “in relation to hunting offences we have to have evidence of the suspect having set out intending to hunt a fox that day, which even despite the CCTV evidence we do not have.”
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:
“There are two possible conclusions that we can draw from Thames Valley Police’s decision not to prosecute the Kimblewick –
- They’ve watched completely different footage from the rest of the nation and genuinely believe the hunts version of events. Or
- They’re lackeys to the powerful Kimblewick and have again done their masters bidding and made this little problem disappear.
If they had watched the same footage as the rest of us they would surely have seen huntsman Andrew Sallis actively encouraging his hounds onto the fox using well recognised and established horn and voice calls. As presumably only Mrs Sallis shared his cornflakes with him that morning only she’ll know whether he “set out intending to hunt a fox that day”. The rest of us will have to rely on the damning video evidence that proves he did just that.
The dead fox is traditionally given to hounds as a reward following a successful kill. If the Kimblewick didn’t intentionally hunt this poor creature then why did they reward their hounds? ”
The hunt hit the press in January last year when the Hunt Saboteurs Association released footage of their terriermen flushing a fox from an artificial earth to be chased by the hunts hounds. Mark Vincent and Ian Parkinson, both employees of the hunt, were found guilty of animal welfare offences and sentenced to 12 week prison sentences, suspended for one year. They lodged an appeal but abandoned it when they realised they had no chance of success.
Polly Portwin, head of hunting at the Countryside Alliance, is a member of the hunt and they were featured in a recent Countryside Alliance promotional video about how to carry out trail hunting. In 2018 they killed 97 of their hounds when they contracted TB.
Read about the Kimblewick terriermen bolting a fox here.
Footage courtesy of landowners and tenants and produced by Grafton Hunt Watch
We’re delighted to hear that the Crown Prosecution Service will be pursuing charges against Mark Hankinson, Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA), who featured in the leaked Hunting Office webinars that the Hunt Saboteurs Association exposed in November last year. The webinars clearly show a concerted attempt to pervert the course of justice and evidenced a nationwide conspiracy to illegally hunt. As ex-Police Inspector Phillip Davies said so prophetically in the webinars “I hope no police officers are watching”. Well Phil, sadly for you and your co-conspirators, they have watched and they’ve decided that you’re a criminal.
Whatever the outcome of the court case this expose has still been a turning point in the history of fox hunting. “Trail hunting” has been exposed once and for all for what it is – a smokescreen to cover up illegal activities. Ex-police Inspector Davies summed it up nicely in the webinars when saying: “Now you know more about hunting than the saboteurs or the courts will know but what it will do is create that smokescreen or that element of doubt that we haven’t deliberately hunted a fox, so if nothing else you need to record that and it will help us provide a defence to huntsmen.”
As a result of the police investigation many major landowners including The National Trust, Forestry England, United Utilities and Natural Resources Wales suspended hunting on their land. We don’t believe these landowners need to wait until the conclusion of any legal process before making these suspensions permanent as the evidence and weight of public opinion is clearly there for all to see.
Subsequent leaks from within the hunting community have unearthed a database held by the Countryside Alliance on anti-hunt activists. Individuals who appear on the database have been targeted in their own homes and have experienced criminal damage and intimidation from hunt supporters.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:
“Justice will never be served for the countless animals that have been chased to exhaustion and killed during 15 years of illegal hunting since the ban but it is pleasing that the judicial system is at least interested in bringing the leaders of this criminal conspiracy to justice. We ask Devon and Cornwall police, the force leading the investigation, whether they plan to widen their investigation to all those who attended the webinars. The criminality of what they were hearing was clear yet none of them felt they should report it to the police.
We also expect that police forces across the country will now have to reconsider all convictions against hunt saboteurs since 2005, as they’re now all tainted in light of what we heard in these webinars.”
The full webinar story and videos can be found here
The rural sport of hunting is in “trouble…… running out of money….” with some in charge “unfit” to take control of the pastime.
The stark revelation from those at the heart of the countryside sport is revealed in documents seen by ITV News.
The minutes from a top-level gathering of those running the sport also record an accusation that the Chairman of the Countryside Alliance and former Conservative Government minister, Lord Nick Herbert, tells people what they want hear about a political strategy for hunting but he “never comes up with it”... https://www.itv.com/news/2021-02-09/exclusive-hunting-could-be-in-trouble-as-some-groups-are-running-out-of-money-documents-reveal
2021 is business as usual for fox hunters, who continue to evade prosecution when blatantly breaking the law. Footage given to The Canary shows a terrified fox cub being chased by dozens of hounds, while men in their red coats, belonging to the Cotswold Hunt, direct the dogs.
The harrowing footage, taken by Three Counties Hunt Saboteurs, was filmed on 21 October 2020. But on 8 January 2021, the activists learned from the police that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was refusing to take any action against the hunt...
The sooner The Hunting Act can be strengthened to prevent hunts creating smokescreens to cover up their illegal activities the better
LEAKED HUNTERS' COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE DOCUMENT
Shocking admission that the CA are working with the Counter Terrorism Policing - National Operations Centre (CTP-NOC) and have agreed an information sharing protocol on personal information on sabs and monitors. Shocking that there are hours of filmed evidence to show that hunts are hunting fox, deer, hare and mink illegally and shocking that the police are turning a blind eye to all this and also helping the CA to try to out wit the saboteurs, who's only crime is to uphold the law and save wildlife from these cruel killers. Please note that the hunt's CA even say that they don't have any evidence against saboteurs - "the sabs complain, we don't; they have video evidence, we don't." Hunting Leaks have exposed the document passed on to them, written by the Countryside Alliance (CA), it outlined two major attacks on the privacy of anti hunting activists. The CA have collected personal data on hundreds and potentially thousands of people. They attempt to legitamise this behaviour by saying that with regards to GDPR purposes it is acceptable so they can prevent crime. Yet throughout the document they say the real reasons are to help them with social media and help counter anti hunt facebook and twitter posts. Well we say thank goodness for social media that enables exposure of the illegal and violent behaviour of hunts and their supporters. The sooner the Hunting Act can be strengthened to prevent hunts creating smokescreens to cover up their illegal activities the better.
Shocking CCTV footage captured hounds chasing the animal on a private industrial estate in Buckinghamshire - with the huntsman feeding the carcass to the hounds.
Police are investigating the killing of a fox on private land by a hunt – two of whose members were recently convicted of animal cruelty.
Shocking CCTV footage captured hounds chasing the animal on a private industrial estate in Buckinghamshire – with the huntsman feeding the carcass to the hounds.
The fox’s killing has been reported to Thames Valley Police – with anti-hunting activists arguing that its death was deliberate.
Hunt activity is under increased scrutiny after an ITV News investigation revealed police are examining the contents of online meetings by the governing body. The National Trust and Forestry England suspended licences for hunting on their land.
The Countryside Alliance (CA) have been attempting to put people in “key positions” within the National Trust, according to a document seen by ITV News.
The revelation, which the National Trust was “not aware of” came at a meeting of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA).
Minutes of the gathering held in April this year and chaired by Lord Benjamin Mancroft show the Countryside Alliance has been “encouraging the right people to apply for key positions” inside the National Trust.
The CA say they have “made no secret of encouraging” their supporters to stand for roles within the Trust and other organisations...
Update 30th December 2020: Following the latest announcement by the Government that large parts of the country are moving into tier 4 there are now even more hunts confined to kennels. As of midnight tonight 158 hunts across England, Wales and Scotland are unable to go out and terrorise wildlife. Only 79 packs of hounds can still go out and the eyes of the country will be on them as they must surely realise that continuing to hunt in the current climate will show once and for all that their desire to kill is the only thing they care about.
The National Trust is appearing a lot in the news, most recently for its conservation efforts in reintroducing beavers to Exmoor, and also for suspending the trail hunting of foxes on its land. These are seemingly positive actions from one of the UK’s biggest landowners. But as The Canary recently reported, temporarily suspending trail hunting is doing far too little. It is a token gesture to divert the public from the fact that, to this day, it has continued to licence fox hunting.
The decisions, which were greeted with celebrations by animal-lovers, come after police launched an investigation into online meetings held by hunt masters, representing more than half of Britain’s hunts, where they discussed creating “smokescreens”...
FORESTRY ENGLAND SUSPEND ALL HUNTING LICENCES
In a statement published by Forestry England on Wednesday 25th November, they have confirmed that all licences for trail hunting in the nation’s forests will be suspended until the police have concluded their investigation. This is good news for wildlife for now but we urge Forestry England to go one step further and to permanently ban all “trail hunts” on their land. Please SIGN the petition calling for a permanent ban on “trail hunt” licences
Fox hunting is in the spotlight as the organisation that runs hunting in this country faces a police investigation.
It follows allegations made to numerous police forces about the contents of online meetings it held.
ITV News can reveal that webinars hosted by The Hunting Office, the sport’s governing body, are being examined by police officers in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service to see if any criminal offences have taken place.
"It's a lot easier to create a smokescreen, if you've got more than one trail layer operating" -Mark Hankinson - Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association
According to a senior police officer, they will “consider exactly what’s being said and what is going on” and the police say they now plan to review their relationships with hunts.
The online meetings were held in August, ahead of this year’s hunting season.
Words and video report by ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn:
MASS CRIMINALITY IN HUNTING COMMUNITY REVEALED THROUGH LEAKED WEBINARS
This is the video fox hunters don't want you to see...
Online Zoom webinars run by the Hunting Office evidence a nationwide conspiracy by hunters to commit perjury and actively flout the 2005 ban on hunting with hounds. Throughout the three hours of talks, hunts are clearly and repeatedly incited to engage in mass criminality and shown how to present a smokescreen to anyone watching.
The three webinars were part of a series that took place in August this year and were attended by over a hundred and fifty hunt masters from across the country. The panel was made up of leaders of the hunting community:
Full story at Hunt Saboteurs Association https://tinyurl.com/y5grwvva
The Alternative Universe of Illegal Hunting by Scorpiovulpes
I have monitored hunts for twenty five years, and I can honestly say my shock and disgust have not abated one bit during all that time.
It seems that the world of hunting is a strange alternative universe existing here amongst us. All the rules are reversed, all the standard codes are turned on their head. Accepted norms of behaviour are ignored, and punishment is meted out to the innocent, not the guilty.
The most innocent of the victims of this sinister world are the hunted animals. There are laws in place in England, Wales and Scotland which purport to ban hunting and thus protect the hunted animal. Do they? Of course they don’t!
These weak laws were drawn up by people who did not understand the true nature of the hunter. They failed to listen to the people who had the measure of hunters - i.e. the monitors and the sabs. They totally underestimated the ruthlessness of the hunters, and failed to grasp how determinedly they would continue their cruel pastime no matter what the law said. They failed to understand that hunters fundamentally believe they are above the law and they can do as they please, that they believe nobody - nobody - can tell them what they may and may not do.
And so we have a situation, 14 years after the ban was instituted in England and Wales, where hunting continues unabated, covered by the smokescreen of “trail” hunting. I will state without hesitation my opinion that trail hunting does not exist, and never has. It is an illusion - well, basically, it’s a con.
So the monitors still have to go out to hunts and do the best they can to film what is really happening, collecting evidence which, in very rare cases, will actually get to court, but more realistically will form part of the library of shocking evidence which will lead to the strengthening of the Hunting Act and the creation of a real ban on hunting, a true death knell for this vile and barbaric practice. The sabs still go and risk their safety in order to protect the hunted animals and save the lives of as many as they can.
The hunts are absolutely infuriated by the presence of sabs or monitors, whose safety is at real risk every time they go out. It is common practice for hunts to call in so called “hunt stewards” - typically a particularly nasty species of inadequate and thuggish person who, given a baseball cap with “hunt steward” on the front, think they’re somebody and start throwing their weight around. They behave in an unbelievably obnoxious way. They constantly harass and impede the monitors, surrounding them, continuously trying in every possibly way to wind up the monitor they are victimising (usually a female and/or elderly person) to try and make them lose their cool. I could write a whole book on this subject, but instead I suggest you view the film of this type of behaviour that you will find on all the monitor and sab Facebook pages, and also on You Tube. These films speak for themselves, and make grim viewing.
So we have an orchestrated conspiracy to hunt illegally being conducted between the hunts and their lackeys, the whole scenario being protected from scrutiny by obstructive, menacing and threatening behaviour .
Well, you might say, the police must be very concerned about this. They must be shocked to see the film. The CPS must be very willing to act on the clear filmed evidence presented to them. This is where you need to grasp the extent of the alternative universe we are talking about, as the very opposite is the case. Police scrutinise the film to try to pin something on the innocent monitors (or sabs), They downplay the seriousness of the behaviour of the “stewards”. They churn out the old chestnut “six of one and half a dozen of the other” when it would be obvious to a five year old that this is categorically not the case.
Time and again the monitors and sabs are left shocked and disgusted by the lack of action by the law enforcement agencies over the whole scandal of illegal hunting and its attendant intimidation and violence.
So they turn to Facebook. For all its faults, Facebook has provided a lifeline for campaigners, and has led to a turning point in the general public’s understanding of the sheer and utter horror of illegal hunting, the cruelty, the deviousness, the thuggery - the lengths gone to to protect this abomination from scrutiny. Sometimes when the absolutely disgusting behaviour of a hunt steward is exposed on Facebook or another arena, the subject of the film uses devious means to have the film taken down. Fortunately this only works short term as their reasons are bogus and the films are usually reinstated. But this again shows how secretive and how absolutely without morals are the people involved in hunting.
It is not only the “stewards” who behave in a revolting way. People who no doubt consider themselves to be the cream of society will barge you with their horses, swear at you, persistently drive at very low speeds in front of you to prevent you keeping up with the hunt, even assault you.
So there you have the alternative universe of illegal hunting for your edification. The hunters throw a threadbare cloak of respectability over themselves with a claim of “trail hunting”. They lie. They bully. They abuse. They bring in their hunt thugs to protect themselves from scrutiny. The law enforcers of the land, who are paid by the taxpayer and whom we are told to respect, more often than not support them, sometimes hunt with them. I have seen a high court judge out hunting, a meet held at a magistrate’s house, ex police officers hunting, uniformed police officers laughing and joking with obnoxious hunt heavies, while a woman monitor was held captive in her car and the police refused to help her. I have heard a female police officer tell a hunt master she would try and get me to leave the hunt so the hunt could carry on as they wished. The list goes on and on and on. You may think that, if the police fail in their duty, there is a robust police complaints system. All I can say to that is, you try it - and good luck. Very recently a District Judge found a hunt not guilty of illegal hunting, giving one of the reasons for his decision that he did not believe a hunt master would lie and perjure himself. This kind of thing leaves those of us at the sharp end of this situation in absolute despair.
I have given you my opinion as a seasoned and long term hunt monitor. You are free to disbelieve me if you choose, but if so, I ask you to look at the plethora of filmed evidence that unequivocally illuminates the situation. And ask yourself why all these people would go to such lengths to stop a non-violent individual from legally filming their activities.
We know the public are overwhelmingly against hunting. We know they are absolutely shocked when they see the evidence of what is happening in our countryside on a daily basis during the hunting season. Between us all we can drag this alternative universe out of the dark ages and expose it to the light. That way we will see it finally abolished. That day cannot come soon enough.
Hunt "Steward" Glenister's Assault on Hunt Monitor
Police Refuse to Act
See Ryan Glenister bullying and shove our monitor Lawrence around at least twice but what do the POLICE say: “Both parties are seen to BUMP INTO EACH OTHER.” Ahem!
Many would feel Glenister’s behaviour was odious, being a man in his twenties and Lawrence in his seventies, on that basis alone. Our film shows Glenister behaving as he very frequently does behave, that is aggressively invading our personal space for prolonged periods, haranguing and bullying constantly, and persistently blocking our view of the hunt’s activities.
You will notice that in the background the hounds were casting around near a hedge when a fox could have been flushed at any moment. Our Monitor was prevented from filming this and you may feel that this was deliberately orchestrated to prevent Lawrence filming what be believed to be illegal hunting and could be interpreted as conspiracy to break the law.
FROM THE POLICE’S WRITTEN RESPONSE:
Police Constable Cayton findings were reported to Police Sergeant 295 Dixon-Kelly for a decision to be made on any further investigative requirements or resolving of the crime. In the determination of Police Sergeant Dixon-Kelly consideration was given to the following factors:
(a) The behaviour of both parties was provocative.
(b) Both parties are seen to bump into each other.
(c) The history of tensions between the two parties.
The police also suggested that Lawrence “disengage with the person” when this would be virtually impossible as Glenister, the sole instigator and perpetrator of the incident, follows Lawrence's every move. If the police meant that Lawrence should leave the scene and go home,
it is hard to interpret this in any other way than the police aiding and abetting criminal activity and attempting to curtail legal activities on the part of law abiding citizens so that criminal activity can proceed without observation.
When no action was taken by the police we wrote two letters forensically challenging their comments which they ignored and we received no answers to our questions.
You may think the police are protecting the Hunt, we could not possibly comment!
If you are as sickened and disgusted as we are, send a complaint to Chief Constable Nick Adderley on firstname.lastname@example.org or via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/northantspolice
The complaint was reported to the police on February 28th 2019 Ref: 19000115784 The incident took place near Wappenham, Northamptonshire on February 23/2019.
Grafton Huntsman Acquitted of Illegal Hunting
Claiming they were hunting to a bird of prey
Judge Daber believed The Grafton were hunting within the law. In his summing up, before he acquitted the Huntsman he said, I don't believe a man like the Hunt Master would perjure himself!! Presumably he considered that our decent and honest hunt monitors would, when he stated that he "preferred" the hunts version to that of our Monitor regarding the position of the falconer. The hunt claimed that they were hunting using a bird of prey and claimed the falconer was positioned on the hill side ready to fly the bird, out of view of our cameras, behind some trees! Our monitor from her position at the bottom of the hill, saw and filmed him driving on the road and coming from the opposite direction of where the hunt claimed he was, within a couple of minutes of the fox being chased by the hounds.
We have never ever seen the bird of prey used to kill a fox at the Grafton or at any other fox hunt and believe it to be a smoke screen to circumvent the Hunting Act to get away with illegal fox hunting. The law needs strengthening and the loopholes closed to make it easier to prosecute those who continue to hunt wild animals with dogs as the law intended.
Despite overwhelming public opposition and a longstanding ban, fox hunting shows no signs of abating in the UK. The 2018 hunt season alone saw 550 reports of illegal hunting, though these figures only represent known incidents.
In 2014 it was found that 250,000 fox hunters attended Boxing Day hunts across the UK. In 2019, so far, at least 21 foxes have been killed by the hunt and 151 incidents of illegal hunting have been reported since the season began on November 1.
The Hunting Act, which prohibited hunting foxes and wild mammals with dogs, was approved by the UK’s parliament in 2003 with 362 MPs in favour and 156 against. The following year it became law. In 2017, the British people were surveyed on whether they continue to support the ban on fox hunting and the result was resounding – the highest margin ever recorded on the matter - 85% thought fox hunting should remain prohibited.
So if the ban is entering its 15th year, why is fox hunting still happening?
A legal let-down
This question is answered in the Hunting Act itself, particularly the manner in which it “outlaws” fox hunting. Article 1 states that a “person commits an offence if he hunts a wild mammal with a dog”. But the provision continues: “Unless his hunting is exempt.”
Herein lies the deceit of the Hunting Act, for it lists a total of nine reasons a hunt may flout the general ban. One of the more commonly invoked exemptions maintains that it is legal to hunt foxes if they pose a danger to livestock, game, crops or fisheries. As such, fox hunting advocates would have us believe that Roald Dahl’s tale of Fantastic Mr Fox and his endeavours to outwit farmers is all too common a curse in rural communities.
This remains nothing more than a smokescreen to defy the ban. Research has shown that foxes naturally control rabbit populations that if left unchecked, would cause significant economic harm to farmers. The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) also advises against controlling foxes, and instead favours strengthening protection around livestock to guard against natural predation.
Another commonly used exemption exploits a loophole around flushing foxes out to help birds of prey hunt. This has seen fox hunters disguising their true intentions by taking birds of prey along with them without ever letting them loose.
There is also the dubious practise of “manufactured” trail hunting in which hounds are supposed to follow an artificial scent trail with no animal chased or killed. In reality, hunt organisers use actual fox scent and lay routes deliberately close to where foxes are known to live, meaning they quickly become the subject of a hunt. Trail hunting is again an attempt to hide the true intentions of those that wish to continue fox hunting.
Monitoring and gathering accurate information on all this to help prosecute offenders is a dangerous task, with members of the public often exposed to insults, intimidation and threats from hunters.
The inadequate Hunting Act and the nefarious practises of hunt organisers mean fox hunting endures in England and Wales. Scotland too, offers no refuge for foxes and the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002 provides similar loopholes that allow hunting to continue.
Setting aside the cruelty of fox hunting, evidence from the Breeding Bird Survey suggests red fox numbers have declined by 41% since 1995. Introducing a complete hunting ban is more essential than ever to protect the UK’s foxes.
A fox-centric approach
The Hunting Act has humans as its focus by specifying how people can bend the law’s provisions to their circumstances. Despite its prevalence in much of environmental law, this human-centric idea is entirely the wrong approach. Any future legislative efforts need to place foxes, and other mammals, at the centre of legislation.
Foxes must be protected for their own right, and a blanket ban on hunting, absent any exemptions, is the only way to safeguard populations. Severe penalties must also be included, to ensure that those already willing to flout the law will rethink their actions.
The likelihood of such a move materialising during this parliament is slim, however. Prime Minister Theresa May offered a free vote to repeal the Hunting Act during the 2017 election but withdrew the pledge after her disastrous election result.
It’s essential that campaigns for stronger anti-hunting laws highlight how widespread resistance to diluting the ban is. The failures of the existing ban endanger foxes and betray the wishes of a majority of the public. Any update to the Hunting Act must crack down on those who think they are above the law.
"I CAN ONLY THEREFORE ASSUME YOU WERE TAKING PART IN FOX HUNTING."
This poor hapless Golden Eagle has been toted around for years at Grafton Hunt meets and used all day as a prop in an attempt to get round the Hunting Act by using the falconers exemption.
The loopholes and exemptions in the current Hunting Act have always been cynically exploited by hunts in order to operate much as they did prior to the ban. The Fitzwilliam Hunt guilty verdict proves that hunting with a full pack of hounds is not the same as Falconry and the judge in summing up confirmed as much.
District Judge John Woollard: “YOU ARE EITHER TAKING PART IN FALCONRY OR FOX HUNTING. FOR FALCONRY YOU DO NOT NEED A FULL PACK OF FOXHOUNDS, INSTEAD PERHAPS 2 or 3 DOGS OF A MORE SUITABLE BREED. THOSE DOGS WOULD ALSO BE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE FALCONER. I CAN ONLY THEREFORE ASSUME YOU WERE TAKING PART IN FOX HUNTING.”
JUDGE SKEWERS HUNT “FALCONRY" LIE - THIS JUDGEMENT IS AN OUTSTANDING PIECE OF COMMON SENSE - AND A MAJOR BLOW FOR ILLEGAL FOX HUNTS
Fitzwilliam Huntsman Guilty of Illegal Hunting.
The loopholes and exemptions in the current Hunting Act have always been cynically exploited by hunts in order to operate much as they did prior to the ban. The guilty verdict proves that hunting with a full pack of hounds is not the same as Falconry and the judge in summing up confirmed as much. The Fitzwilliam Hunt had been using a ‘falconry exemption’, a loophole in the law which several fox hunts try to take advantage of by taking out a bird of prey when hunting with a pack of hounds.
Very importantly it was noted by the judge in court that:
“YOU ARE EITHER TAKING PART IN FALCONRY OR FOX HUNTING. FOR FALCONRY YOU DO NOT NEED A FULL PACK OF FOXHOUNDS, INSTEAD PERHAPS 2 or 3 DOGS OF A MORE SUITABLE BREED. THOSE DOGS WOULD ALSO BE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE FALCONER. I CAN ONLY THEREFORE ASSUME YOU WERE TAKING PART IN FOX HUNTING.”
The Fitzwilliam Huntsman was convicted of illegal hunting, 2 years 4 months after the incident - and the time limit for him to appeal has now passed. Well done to sabs who shot video and gave evidence - and to the CPS for pushing on through the Hunt side's endless attempts to delay and to get the case dropped.
Chris Luffingham, League Against Cruel Sports director of campaigns, said:
“The magistrate said this huntsman was trying to cover up illegal hunting by pretending to use a bird of prey. Week on week we see examples of hunts trying to cover up illegal hunting by rather than actual animals. Slowly but surely the deception of hunts is being exposed and punished..."
The Fitzwilliam Huntsman was convicted of illegal hunting, 2 years 4 months after the incident - and the time limit for him to appeal has now passed. Well done to sabs who shot video and gave evidence - and to the CPS for pushing on through the Hunt side's endless attempts to delay and to get the case dropped.
POWA person said:
"This judgement should make it much harder for Hunts to exploit the absurd 'Falconry Exemption' as a cover for fox hunting. The Exemption, allowing use of a full pack to 'flush' quarry to a bird of prey should never have been in the Hunting Act, especially given the strong opposition to it of the Hawk Board, the country's foremost falconry body. It is hard to see it's presence as other than a deliberate attempt by somebody to sabotage the Act.
We understand that since the Fitzwilliam FH judgement the Easton Harriers have abandoned their attempt to purchase a bird of prey. It may be too much to hope for, but perhaps other Hunts will now abandon their practice of carting a poor eagle or eagle owl around with them every hunting day, crammed into small boxes on quad bikes, detrimental to their welfare.
Though, even should that happen, the Hunting Act still provides ample scope for Hunts to use various excuses – usually pretend 'trail hunting' - to slither out of being brought to justice – and significant strengthening of the Act will remain vital."
CSHA Fully Endorses
Labour's Plan for Animal Welfare
From bringing forward the Hunting Act to protecting the treatment of domestic animals under the Animal Welfare Act, Labour has always placed the welfare of animals high on the policy agenda. Here’s their plan for animal welfare. https://labour.org.uk/issues/animal-welfare-plan/
Labour's plan contains many fantastic animal welfare pledges including two that are close to our hearts:
* Enhance and strengthen the Hunting Act, closing loopholes that allow for illegal hunting of foxes and hares
* Make illegal hunting and all wildlife crime a reportable offence.
Director of Campaigns for the charity, Chris Luffingham, said: "One of the reasons hunting was banned was because animals suffer terribly when chased by a hunt.
"It’s cruel, it’s illegal and it’s time we strengthened legislation and prevented the cruel minority from flouting the law."
The League claims that trail hunting is allowing hunts to continue and then, when foxes and other wildlife are killed, they can claim it was accidental.
Its petition can be viewed at https://www.league.org.uk/hunting-act
The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed the conviction of a gamekeeper for keeping a fox in cruel conditions in a disused outbuilding, which it believes was being held to be chased and killed by a local hunt.
Nigel Smith, head gamekeeper of the Buckminster Estate, was found guilty of charges brought under Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act for failing to meet the welfare needs of an animal, at Lincoln Magistrates Court today.
He was caught on camera by investigators from the League, with a bag and net outside the disused building the day of the Belvoir hunt meet. This followed a successful League operation during which investigators had found the fox, captured it and taken it to a local vet for treatment, before releasing it back into the countryside. The had been found in appalling conditions and in a terrified state...
Time to Really Ban Hunting in Scotland
“IT’S TIME FOR A REAL BAN ON FOX HUNTING. I SUPPORT PROPOSALS TO ENHANCE THE LAW TO END THIS BARBARIC PRACTICE.”
KEZIA DUGDALE LABOUR MSP #forthefoxes
Orphaned Fox Cubs
One of the worst aspects of the horrific practice of fox hunting is the fact that the season continues into the period in which cubs are born. Foxes mate in December/January and give birth between February and April, the peak of births occurring during the month of March. Hunts vary in the date they end their season, but they all continue hunting into March, some right to the end of March, and there are even some hunts that do not cease until well into April.
Whether or not you believe the claim made by hunters that since the ban came into force their chasing and killing of foxes is all “accidental” and “unintentional”, nobody can be left in any doubt that foxes continue to be killed by hunts on a regular basis. A quick look at the Facebook pages of those who observe hunts will confirm this.
As a wildlife carer, every year I care for orphaned and starving animals. In the case of fox cubs, their plight is absolutely heartbreaking. Anyone who thinks that cubs, left to starve after their lactating mothers have been killed, die quietly and peacefully is, I’m afraid, suffering from a misapprehension.
A starving cub is the most pitiful thing imaginable. Their little sunken eyes are weeping and gummed up. Their noses run. Their fur is dirty, having no mother to clean them. When you pick them up they are a tiny skeleton in your hands. Most pitiful of all is their constant crying, a rhythmic, repeated hoarse little cry of utter misery. Bringing a little fox cub back from the brink of death from starvation is the most rewarding thing imaginable, but to witness their distress is heartbreaking, and to think that some of these orphans have been left in this cruel predicament through the cruelty of humans is unspeakable. Some hunters claim pregnant and lactating vixens are not hunted because they give off no smell - this is frankly preposterous nonsense, a self-serving excuse.
A very young cub is incapable of emptying its bladder without stimulation from their mother. These tiny cubs’ kidneys will fail and they will suffer a ruptured bladder. Toxins from the urine will cause sepsis. They will desperately suck at one another trying to find milk. As they suck, their tiny teeth cause severe soreness on the abdomen and genitals, which will become infected. It is hard to describe their utter misery. The older cubs will take longer to die as their body size will maintain them for longer.
Most orphaned cubs will die without being found at all. At Little Foxes we usually manage to bring these little starving cubs back from the edge of death. One example is Noodle, pictured here, who, after intensive overnight care, came back from the very brink and is shown taking her first little sloppy meal after recovery, during which time she was carefully hand fed.
Many cubs will be orphaned as their mothers have met with an accident - that is tragic enough. But nobody who cares for such animals could ever be satisfied with a situation where hunters can continue to kill foxes by exploiting loopholes in a weak law. This must stop. Speaking personally, I will never stop campaigning for the total abolition of hunting with hounds.
Penny Little is a Grafton Hunt Watch Monitor and also founder of Little Foxes Wildlife Rescue http://www.littlefoxes.org.uk/about.html
This film shows just a little of what hunt monitors have to cope with when gathering evidence of illegal hunting.
It’s definitely the correct decision, but it’s also very political. Firstly the positives. This announcement is the direct result of ongoing pressure against hunting which came to a head in the election last year.
Prince Charles urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to scrap the planned hunting ban in a private letter revealed for the first time today by The Mail on Sunday. The Prince lauded hunting as ‘romantic’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ and effectively branded opponents class warriors in the letter, sent in 2002, three years before the ban came into effect
The disclosure of the Prince’s attempts to influence Government policy will strengthen the hand of critics who have accused him of meddling in matters of state. But others argue the Prince has a right to privacy when raising concerns.
A video showing hounds chasing a terrified fox cub today shames a hunt which has been supported by Tory MP Andrea Leadsom.
The high-powered Leader of the House of Commons has repeatedly appeared in the past with the Grafton Hunt – whose bloodthirsty dogs are seen pursuing the helpless animal.
Hunt members could now face a police investigation over the footage in which they appear to flout the bloodsports ban.
During the film taken last Saturday, riders of the hunt in Northamptonshire seemingly make no attempt to stop the pack as it pursues the exhausted cub.
Looking forward to riding a pony for the first time, the children were excited. The animal handlers were preparing to lead the group of parents and children for a trek out on the fell, and the ponies stood stock still as the youngsters clambered onto their backs. It was a cold but dazzlingly beautiful day, just the weather to see the Cumbrian fells at their best. Then, without warning, there came a shout; not one but two men’s voices, a bugle call, the revving of engines in the distance. As if from nowhere came a great rush of dogs – beagles, tails up, racing, excited, scattering all around the yard where Megan Metcalfe* was about to wave off the holidaymakers...
Author: Jordi Casamitjana - League Against Cruel Sports
It’s not surprising people get confused.
Hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales by the Hunting Act 2004... but hunting with dogs continues today. People think that hunts now hunt within the law because they have converted to drag hunting…but none of the hunts converted to drag hunting.
Trail hunts claim they now “hunt” artificial scents rather than live animals…but they don’t lay any trails with artificial scents.
This needs to stop and you can help
Hunting with hounds could be banned on National Trust land under plans put forward by members including explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Trail hunting - in which dogs and riders follow a scent that has been laid - is still allowed on estates but has long been feared to be a way of getting round the hunting ban.
Fifty trust members, including Sir Ranulph, have backed a motion that will be debated at the trust’s annual general meeting in October which would revoke all licences given to hunts. He said: “I have a passion for this country, our land and our animals.
Jennifer Dunn from the League Against Cruel Sports on why the Scottish Parliament must introduce a real ban on foxhunting this Parliamentary session
Although the Scottish Parliament intended to ban fox hunting soon after it was re-founded, by passing the Protection of Wild Mammals Act (Scotland) 2002, fox hunting continues in parts of Scotland in the same way it has for centuries. Rather than the fox being shot, as the legislation intended, foxes are still run down and torn apart by dogs.
All hunting with hounds on National Trust land could be banned in an unprecedented vote this autumn. Trail hunting – in which hounds and riders follow a scent that was laid earlier – is still allowed on trust estates but has long been regarded by animal rights campaigners as a means of circumventing the hunting ban.
Now 50 trust members, including the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, have endorsed a motion that will be debated at the trust’s AGM in October which would revoke all licences allocated to hunts.
Campaigners are calling for a change in the law after a decision not to charge anyone involved in a hunt that spilled on to a residential street. Police probed reports hounds filled a street in Macclesfield, Cheshire, in February and allegedly killed a fox.
Lesley Martin from Cheshire Monitors said "the law needs to be strengthened" and loopholes must be tightened. The CPS said there was not enough evidence to prove the animal's death was caused deliberately.
Ms Lesley, from the anti-hunting campaign group which monitors hunting groups in Cheshire, said the law is inadequate in its current form.
Resident Julie Clarke, 47, who witnessed the hunt in Penningtons Lane said it was "horrific" and the "dogs were out of control", leaving some locals "traumatised... scared and outraged".
Can you help?
Every autumn, selected members of fox hunts meet to hunt fox cubs. Up to 10,000 fox cubs are chased, caught and ripped to pieces every year. If you witness cub hunting or have information about it, report it to the police and to our Animal Crimewatch line.
01483 361 108 - email@example.com
MPs want a vote on tightening existing laws – even though Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out bringing back hunting before 2019..
Prosecutions are difficult now because killing a fox by accident IS legal. So drag or trail hunters can claim their hounds scented a real fox and were uncontrollable.
“I put my dogs on lead and moved to the side of the track to allow them to pass,”
Dr Mullin said. "While they were going past about 10 hounds got loose and started to attack my two dogs.”
Two dogs are recovering after suffering from an alleged attack by out of control hunt hounds in Somerset. Pet rescue dogs, Monty and Alfie, were out walking in the Mendips with their owner at around 8.00am on Thursday, July 13th, when they were allegedly attacked by hunting hounds belonging to the Mendip Farmers Hunt. Dave Mullin was walking the pair along a country lane in Priddy, when he says they encountered approximately 70 local hunt hounds and two men.
The Hunting Act needs to be strengthened
It is very pleasing to see that the Tories' planned attempt to overturn the ban on hunting has been dropped (Theresa May scraps vote on fox hunting in latest U-turn, 4 July.) Unfortunately, if anyone thinks this means all is well and that foxes, hares, deer and mink are safe from the hounds, they are completely wrong.
Hunts continually and blatantly hunt live quarry knowing that the law provides exemptions and loopholes that they can ruthlessly exploit. These give them a selection of handy excuses every time they get caught, and prosecutions of organised hunts are very rare despite the anarchy which is taking place.
The police are indifferent, and the Crown Prosecution Service is weak in enforcing the law. The only way this appalling situation can be remedied is by a significant tightening of the Hunting Act. Anyone who monitors hunts, as I do, will know how ruthlessly hunters continue with their horrible cruelty, and how aggressively they turn on anyone who opposes them.
The monitoring and evidence collecting of no other law of the land is left to ordinary citizens as is the ban on hunting, and I hope and trust an incoming Labour government will finally put a stop to this atrocious state of affairs.
Penny Little Great Haseley - Published in the Independent Wednesday 5 July 2017
The bloodsports-loving Prime Minister was forced to ditch her bid to bring back the hated pastime after losing her Commons majority
Anti-fox hunting campaigners declared victory today after humiliated Theresa May finally shelved plans to axe the ban. The bloodsports-loving Prime Minister was forced to ditch her bid to bring back the hated pastime after losing her Commons majority. The Tory leader revealed her passion for hunting to the Mirror during the general election battle, as she owned up to a plot to scrap the 12-year-old ban. Furious Conservative MPs blamed the PM’s bid for their ballot box embarrassment as Mrs May was denied an outright win. And in a written parliamentary answer the Government slipped out on Monday night, it was confirmed a free vote for MPs had been mothballed.
Exclusive: Ministers quietly confirm another key Conservative policy has been ditched after disastrous election result
Theresa May has ditched plans to hold a parliamentary vote on bringing back fox hunting, the Government has confirmed.
The Prime Minister had promised to hold the vote after saying she was in favour of hunting being legalised, but was forced to row back after the general election deprived her of a parliamentary majority.
The Tories' latest manifesto U-turn was confirmed in response to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Catherine West, seen by The Independent.
Activists claimed the huntsmen were part of the Atherstone Hunt near to Shuttington, Warwickshire
A police investigation launched after hunting dogs were filmed ripping a fox apart in Warwickshire has been dropped by officers, it has been revealed.
See comment by POWA person: http://www.powa.org.uk/news.html
The publication of research into foxhounds and bovine TB is being hidden behind a cover up, with an outbreak in one hunt's pack kept secret for three months before the news leaked out, writes LESLEY DOCKSEY
Reacting to the Queen’s speech , Eduardo Gonçalves, CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports said: “We are pleased to see that there is no mention of hunting in the Queen’s Speech. We hope that, following the outcry during the election campaign, Theresa May has now abandoned the manifesto pledge for a free vote on repeal of the Hunting Act. The reality is that the ban has overwhelming support from the British public. “We have no doubt that a vocal minority will continue in their attempts to weaken or repeal the ban – either openly or via the back door. We therefore remain vigilant and there should be no doubt that we will continue to be the voice speaking up for animals, vigorously opposing any effort to weaken their protection. “The Government should be clear that what the British people want from them is to get on with the job of improving animal protection, not undermining it.”
Three weeks into her election campaign, Theresa May confirmed that she would be supporting a vote on fox hunting. It turned out to be the first serious misstep of what had previously been a lacklustre but uncontroversial pitch. A week later, Jeremy Corbyn unveiled the Labour Party manifesto to great acclaim and the Conservative manifesto that followed two days later plunged the party into the chaos of the ‘dementia tax’. When polling day demolished the Tory majority, it became clear that there will be no chance of fox hunting changing its legal status for years, if ever.
Theresa May's manifesto promised a free vote in Parliament on repealing the Hunting Act, but this could now be impossible after the Tories lost seats
Grant Shapps said it was "absolute insanity" to try to change the fox hunting laws the light of the Tories' general election humiliation.
FOX HUNTING threatens to become a decisive election issue with three out of four voters against its return.
Three in four voters are against Theresa May's pledge for vote to overturn the fox hunting ban
Conservative strategists are bound to be troubled by a new poll that reveals how half of all voters are less likely to vote for a candidate who wants to legalise fox hunting.
Prime Minister Theresa May has made a manifesto pledge to allow MP's a free vote on repealing the 2004 Hunting Act that banned pursuing foxes, deer and hares with dogs.
A new poll commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports published on Thursday 1 June shows that 76% of voters say fox hunting should not be re-legalised, while only 3 out of 100 voters say they are more likely to support a candidate who supports its return..
Theresa May has stated that she has always been in favour of fox hunting and will try and overturn the ban if she is elected. Labour will support and strengthen the ban. Please remember the animals when you vote.
Theresa May has the warmth, wit and oratorical ability of a fridge-freezer. Jeremy Corbyn is doing far better
I am trying to remember if there was ever a worse Conservative election campaign than this current dog’s breakfast — and failing. Certainly 2001 was pretty awful, with Oliver Letwin going rogue and Thatcher sniping nastily from behind the arras. It is often said that 1987 was a little lacklustre and Ted Heath had effectively thrown in the towel in October 1974. But I don’t think anything quite matches up to this combination of prize gaffes and the robotic incantation of platitudinous idiocies.
Labour Animal Rights Group
John McDonnell on Labour’s animal manifesto pledges
DAILY MIRROR OPINION
‘Personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting’
Polls suggest the blood sport continues to be very unpopular with the public
Pro-fox hunting campaigners are plotting to use a predicted Conservative landslide at the general election to repeal a 2004 ban of the blood sport, according to a report.
Tory Lord Mancroft, chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations, described the 8 June vote as “the chance we have been waiting for” to overturn the ban, according to an email seen by the Daily Mirror.
Excellent portrayal of the reality of Fox Hunts and the nasty cruel behaviour of foxhunters towards their own animals and their appalling behaviour towards Hunt Monitors.
by Lesley Docksey
The news that the Kimblewick Hunt's hounds are infested with bovine TB has come as a shock to farmers and hunters, writes Lesley Docksey.
But it's no surprise to campaigners against the badger cull, who have long complained about poor farm hygiene and the feeding by hunts of disease-ridden 'fallen cattle' carcasses to foxhounds - never mind that the cattle are likely bTB carriers!
The news finally broke cover a few days ago, news which the Kimblewick Hunt had been sitting on since December. The Kimblewick is an amalgamation of three former hunts, and hunts over land in six counties, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire.
Calls for suspension of all hunting with dogs after Kimblewick Hunt, to which Conservative peer Lord Gardiner of Kimble belongs, announced the cull
A fox hunt which counts the Tory Animal Welfare Minister among its members has killed up to 25 hounds following a suspected bovine TB outbreak. The Kimblewick Hunt, to which Lord Gardiner of Kimble belongs, culled the dogs and implemented biosecurity measures to prevent the disease spreading. Hunt officials said “it is most likely that the hounds contracted it from eating meat from a contaminated bovine”.
Another 120 hounds are being monitored for symptoms. It is thought to be the biggest ever potential outbreak of bTB among dogs in Britain.
Kimblewick, which has its kennels in Aylesbury, Bucks., has abandoned hunting with its own dogs for the rest of the season. But it has been carrying on legal hunting activities with hounds from other hunts.
League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Eduardo Goncalves said: “The implications of this outbreak are huge. It would be a farce if hunting was allowed to continue while bovine TB is rife. “All hunting with dogs must be suspended with immediate effect in the bTB epidemic zone.”
LACS Head of Policy and Research Jordi Casamitjana recalls the day the Hunting Act first came into force - 12 years ago
I remember it as if it was yesterday. Precisely 12 years ago, on the 18th of February 2005, after a long and arduous Parliamentary process, the Hunting Act 2004 finally came into force in England and Wales, so hunting wild mammals with dogs became illegal. And I remember it well because I had joined the League Against Cruel Sports a few months before as the hunting campaigner. Despite the fact this moment could easily be seen as the end of an 80 year long campaign which started when the League was founded in 1924, by Henry B Amos and Ernest Bell, it actually signalled the beginning of a new campaign in which I am still involved today - the campaign for the proper enforcement of the hunting ban. http://www.league.org.uk/blog/the-act-that-made-hunting-an-underground-covert-deception
The Scottish government has pledged to strengthen the rules around hunting following a judge-led review.
The Scottish government has pledged to strengthen the rules around hunting following a judge-led review. A new code of practice will be established and a better monitoring system introduced.
At the end of last year, Lord Bonomy said fox hunting laws needed to change. The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 saw fox hunting with dogs banned, but there were exceptions to the rules.
The law stated that dogs could be used to stalk or flush out a fox in the interests of pest control, protecting livestock or ground-nesting birds. That prompted mounted hunts in Scotland to be offered to farmers, landowners and estate managers.
Vile sexual insults and abuse from Grafton Hunt supporters
If anyone out there still thinks fox hunters are respectable people, just watch this film. It involves sexual insults of a disgusting nature, directed at anti hunt monitors by so called "hunt stewards" - and women hunt supporters join in. Shocking. And watch to the end for further absolutely shocking and aggressive behaviour towards a female hunt monitor by two young hunters and their parents. The reality of fox hunting - only participated in by people who have the lowest possible standards.
Mobile phone footage has captured the moment a hunt master told a married female activist he'd 'quite like to s***' her after she confronted him about illegal fox hunting.
Charles Carter, 33, was filmed telling the 41-year-old mother-of-four she was 'very pretty' before asking for her number and saying: 'Can I take you to bed please?'
The Tory councillor, who has since been suspended, made the remarks after being challenged by activists during a meet of the Middleton Hunt in North Yorkshire.
A fox is mauled to death by a group of ferocious hounds in a shocking clip captured by anti-hunt campaigners.
Members of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs claim they were tracking the Atherstone Hunt near Shuttington in Staffordshire, when they saw the attack in action.
In the erratic video footage, a fox appears to make a dash into a nearby garden to make an escape when the pack strikes.
Opposition to fox hunting has risen to historic levels, according to a poll that found an all-time high number of Britons opposed to the activity.
A full 84 per cent of the public now believe fox hunting should not be made legal again, as enthusiasts take to horseback for traditional Boxing Day hunts, where hounds follow a scent rather than a fox. Campaigners claim that illegal fox hunting continues.
Despite public opposition, it was reported in September that Theresa May is planning to push ahead with a vote to repeal the Hunting Act in Parliament, a pledge included in last year’s Conservative election manifesto.
Hunt Monitor Calls for Hunting Act to be Strengthened on BBC Radio 4
Twelve years after the Hunting Act was passed, the activity remains as controversial and divisive as ever. Boxing Day meets in England this year are expected to attract as many followers and spectators as they did before the ban on hunting mammals with dogs. Hunt Masters insist they drag or trail hunt and therefore operate within the law, but opponents such as the League Against Cruel Sports are equally adamant that foxes are being chased illegally.
Grafton Hunt followers Clewes & Wilkinson Due to Appear in Court
Christopher Clewes and Ben Wilkinson were due to appear in court charged with 'Use threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour to cause harassment/alarm/distress,' until the case was dropped just two weeks before the trial was due to take place. Subsequently the Monitors received a personal apology from the Acting Chief Prosecutor of East Midland CPS for mistakes made by them, who said that their "handling of the case did not meet the high standards which we aspire to, and I accept that you have been let down by the Criminal Justice System."
For further information on Hunt Monitors: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunt_Monitors
A man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal hunting following the deaths of two foxes in Leicestershire last weekend. The 49-year-old was taken into custody for questioning about the animals' deaths while the Belvoir Hunt was riding in the Scalford area, near Melton.
Police said on Friday night that he had been released on bail pending further enquiries. Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach was present and monitoring officers' policing of the event when two foxes were killed by the Belvoir Hunt's hounds.
Hunt saboteurs allegedly found a third seriously injured animal which also died. Lord Bach said he had been shocked by the deaths during a hunt meet on Saturday, December 3.
CSHA welcomes Lord Bonomy's report that found there to be considerable law-breaking being committed by hunts under the current ban. This led Lord Bonomy to make the recommendation that the law should be both clarified, strengthened and properly enforced to close the loopholes currently exploited by hunts to chase and kill foxes and other wild mammals with packs of dogs in Scotland.
Monday 21st November 2016: The League Against Cruel Sports has today welcomed the findings from Lord Bonomy’s robust and detailed review of the hunting ban in Scotland. The charity, one of several organisations to submit evidence for the review, now calls upon the Scottish Government to strengthen the law before the current fox hunting season closes at the end of March 2017.
THERE are few more august charities than the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Founded in 1824, the RSPCA claims to be the oldest animal-welfare charity in the world. In a country as sentimental about its pets as Britain is, that gives it clout.
It is not used, therefore, to being attacked by equally august bodies. But on November 15th a House of Commons environment committee took a swipe at it. The cross-party body of MPs recommended that the RSPCA should stop conducting its own prosecutions in animal-welfare cases.
More shocking scenes from a hunt, in September 2016, despite the fact that hunting was banned in 2005.
The Hunting Act must be strengthened to put a stop to scenes like these.
The environment secretary’s silence on hunting at the Conservative conference reflects a party waking up to the fact that the public cares about animal welfare
It was the dog, or fox, that didn’t bark. During her leadership campaign, Tory MP Andrea Leadsom vowed to hold a vote to bring back foxhunting and declared there was a “need to exterminate vermin, which foxes are”.
At her first party conference as environment secretary, Leadsom might have been expected to throw some red meat to the Tory faithful and renew David Cameron’s promise of a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act. Instead, she prattled on about catching rural Pokémon and selling bottled air.
He marched against the hunting ban but Sir Ranulph Fiennes has dramatically changed his mind about the blood sport after encountering a hounded fox that took six days to die.
The polar explorer will call on Theresa May to drop any attempts to repeal the Hunting Act after switching sides from the pro-hunting lobby to supporting the League Against Cruel Sports. He will give a speech at a Conservative Party Conference fringe event in Birmingham explaining why his views have changed so drastically on what he now considers to be a tradition of “brutal and insupportable self-indulgence”.
It comes as a poll last week revealed that 84 per cent of Britons do not want to see a return to fox hunting.
Monitors need you to help our wild animals to see another sunrise and to show the world what terrible atrocities go on in our countryside
Many expenses are incurred, including petrol costs, purchasing cameras, memory cards, two way radios and other equipment. Please help the Monitors by donating towards their expenses, it would help them greatly.
We can hardly believe that the cub hunting season will be under way very shortly and we will need to be out observing hunts again to collect the evidence of illegal hunting. We can then put it up on social media, show politicians the reality of the anarchy out there or use in the courts to convict these criminals. One day we will overcome and put an end to this appalling cruelty.
Some years ago we received the following report describing a fox cub hunt. The same thing happens over and over again to this day. “Today I was at a fox cub hunt, it started at 6am, there were 20 hunt riders, 20 followers and four terrier men. There were five of us (Monitors) as well as one terrified fox cub born this year and its Mother. The hunt chased the two of them around a wood for an hour, they passed me twice, running along a ditch trying to hide their scent, the vixen goading the cub along. After one hour of running in circles and terrified by the hounds in cry, (they could not escape the wood as rabbit fencing all around and the only exit had a line of hunt riders banging their saddles to frighten the foxes back into the wood). The vixen was seen crawling exhausted on her belly into the undergrowth where she lay. The cub was caught and disembowelled by the hounds, his short life of only a few months gone.”
Wildlife Opinion - George Monbiot
Their campaign against the RSPB is a shameful example of ‘astroturfing’. The public should beware
This is how, in a democracy, you win when you are outnumbered: you purchase the results. It’s how politics now works. The very rich throw money at the parties, lobby groups and thinktanks that project their demands. If they are clever, they keep their names out of it.
Here’s an example: a campaign fronted by the former England cricket captain Sir Ian Botham, called You Forgot the Birds. It appears to have two purposes: to bring down the RSPB – the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – and to get the natural history presenter Chris Packham sacked from the BBC.
HOUNDED TO DEATH
Shocking moment pack of dogs tear fox to pieces on hunt – but police REFUSE to take action
No action will be taken against a Warwickshire hunt despite video footage being released of a fox being killed by its hounds. Warwickshire Police said there was ‘not enough evidence’ to prosecute members of the Atherstone Hunt over accusations the fox had been illegally killed - despite the video, witness statements and the hunt itself admitting that it killed the fox.
The video footage was taken by West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs and shows members of the Atherstone Hunt on horseback as a pack of about 20 dogs chase down the animal in a field.
Grouse Shooting Debate Sees Chris Packham And Ian Botham Clash As ‘Glorious Twelfth’ Begins
BOTHAM BATTING ON A STICKY WICKET . . .
More than 80,000 people have signed an online petition to call for a ban on grouse shooting as the official season starts - a day known as the Glorious Twelfth.
BBC wildlife presenter and RSPB vice president Chris Packham, who signed the petition, and Sir Ian Botham, who supports the shoot and has criticised Mr Packham for his opposition to it, go head to head to debate the issue.
NOT SO GLORIOUS
Support the Campaign to Ban Driven Grouse Shooting - League Against Cruel Sports
The new Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom has said she wants to repeal the hunting ban
Theresa May backs away from vote on legalising fox hunting
The Government is unlikely to try and lift the ban on fox hunting in the near future, Downing Street has said.
On Thursday Theresa May appointed Andrea Leadsom as the Environment Secretary, a job which has overall responsibility for rural affairs. Just this month Ms Leadsom reiterated her commitment to repealing the hunting ban, arguing that to do so could have “animal welfare” benefits.
Theresa May supports Fox Hunting and has said she would give Parliamentary time for a Bill to scrap the Hunting Act. View Theresa May and National Treasure Patrick Moore clashing on Hunting on BBC TV Daily Politics in 2009
YET ANOTHER EXPOSURE OF APPALLING HUNT CRUELTY
Hunt Saboteurs Association Release 30th June 2016
Fox rearing and illegal hunting at the Pytchley Hunt
Undercover footage handed to the Hunt Saboteurs Association by independent investigators, shows the Pytchley Hunt rearing and hunting foxes in direct contravention of the Hunting Act. The footage shows the hunt terrier men keeping captive foxes in an artificial earth, an underground tunnel system built by the hunt to maintain the fox population in an area they plan to hunt.
The terrier men introduce cubs to the earth and initially keep them caged to ensure they don't leave the area. Once they are attached to the area the cage is removed to allow the cubs free rein in the wood. As can be seen, not all the cubs survive captivity.
Secret footage1 has been released which appears to show live fox cubs being delivered to the kennels of the South Herefordshire Hunt before being thrown to the pack of fox hounds. The lifeless body of a cub is then seen to be dumped into a wheelie bin, before another is taken to meet the same fate.
Two men have been charged after video footage of a hunt in the Scottish Borders was passed on to police.
The League Against Cruel Sports alleged that the film of the Jed Forest Hunt shows hounds in pursuit of fleeing foxes. Police arrested two men, aged 23 and 65, after reviewing the footage.
The BBC has obtained secret video footage of a fox hunt in the Scottish Borders, which has led to two men being charged with wildlife offences. Campaigners claim the ban on hunting with dogs is routinely being flouted.
Hunt supporters insist they take great care to respect the law. The Jedforest Hunt was secretly filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports in February.
The men who have been charged are due to appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at a later date. The case comes as Lord Bonomy carries out a review of the law on hunting in Scotland.
Two League Staff Brutally Assaulted and Robbed by Hunt Supporters
Violence against animal rights campaigners who monitor hunts is growing so bad that it could result in someone’s death, warned an observer who was beaten by hunt supporters at the weekend.
Roger Swaine and Darryl Cunnington, both hunt monitors for the League Against Cruel Sports, were allegedly assaulted and had their cameras stolen by a masked group on quad bikes at a Leicestershire hunt on Saturday.
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of assault after two anti-hunting campaigners were attacked while monitoring the Belvoir Hunt in Leicestershire.
Darryl Cunnington was seriously injured and taken to hospital while RogerSwaine sustained blows to the head and was bleeding heavily following the attack in Stathern, Leicestershire, according to a statement from campaigners.
Video commentary by Eduardo Conclaves - Chief Executive League Against Cruel Sports
Roger Swaine, who was attacked while monitoring a hunt in Leicestershire - Andrew Fox
Campaigners says PC Sharon Roscoe’s role investigating ill-treatment of animals ‘untenable’ with membership of one of UK’s biggest hunting clubs Members of the Quorn, Belvoir, Cottesmore and Oakley hunts parade in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. The club organises hunts attended by the royal family.
Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on police chiefs to reassign a wildlife officer with an environmental remit after it emerged she is a member of one of Britain’s biggest hunting clubs. PC Sharon Roscoe, 46, is a wildlife officer for Leicestershire police and part of her role is to investigate allegations of illegal fox hunting, trapping animals, game poaching and badger baiting, as well as numerous other breaches of wildlife law. But it has emerged that she is also an active member of the Duke of Rutland’s Belvoir Hunt in Lincolnshire.
Gruesome footage shows mutilated fox in hound’s jaws during hunt as police probe 'illegal killing'
Gruesome video footage of a mutilated fox being carried in a hound’s jaws during a fox hunt has emerged.
Police are investigating after they were called to reports of a fox being killed illegally during a meeting of Atherstone Hunt.
Officers were called to the scene by members of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs Group who filmed the scene. The clip show the lifeless body of the animal being carried in the teeth of one of the hounds.
Later images, too disturbing to show, reveal the horrific extent of the fox’s injuries as it lies dead on the ground.
Last month the WMN carried an article reporting the hunting community’s view that hunting with hounds was a humane method of fox control. Barrister Noel Sweeney, a specialist in criminal law, animal law and human rights, offers a different perspective. The WMN is right ask the salient question whether it is ‘time to bring the Welfare of the Fox into the debate on the Hunting Act’ (Western Morning News December 20 2015).
Sonn Macmillan Walker Blog - Tim Walker
Tim is noted in the Legal 500 as 'highly rated' and 'very impressive'. Chambers legal directory comments, "The 'excellent' Tim Walker stands out for 'swiftly identifying the issues in a case and fighting very hard for his clients.' Practising as a solicitor advocate, he is 'extremely bright' and 'hugely experienced' in criminal defence."
Aggravated Trespass - defending hunt monitors
I recently acted for a number of clients who were charged with aggravated trespass. They were accused of disrupting the lawful activity of the Waveney Harriers who traditionally hunted live quarry and who now hunt a false scent laid by a human.
It was the prosecution case that the defendants (for some unspecified reason) chose to disrupt this entirely lawful activity and spoil the fun of a group of people who were simply riding around the countryside for fun.
The Disappearing Fox - A Christmas Mystery for the Boxing Day Hunts
In December 2015 the League Against Cruel Sports carried out an undercover investigation which resulted in the discovery and rescue of a fox we believe was being held to be hunted by the Belvoir Hunt.
Last Hooray of the Hunts?
Opposition to fox hunting at record level as more rural residents and Conservative MPs than ever before join the fight against blood sports.
This film asks the question - Is this illegal foxhunting?
Just one of many pieces of evidence submitted by hunt monitors to the authorities and subsequently rejected for "lack of evidence." In 2014, monitors submitted several complaints to the authorities of the Grafton Hunt foxhunting illegally. They were told that there was "insufficient evidence" to take further.
Little is known publicly about trail hunting, but IFAW's investigators have uncovered a practice that can create false alibis, seriously hindering enforcement of the Hunting Act 2004.
The Hunting ban in England and Wales has an enforcement problem, mainly caused by trail hunting -- an activity carried out by organised hunts in England and Wales.
As one of the leading anti-hunting organisation in the UK, IFAW decided to investigate this issue in depth. Our data and evidence suggests that trail hunting in general is nothing more than a post-hunting ban creation to provide a false alibi against accusations of illegal hunting.
It should not be confused with drag hunting or bloodhound hunting, which aim to cause no harm to wild animals. Our report Trail of Lies is the biggest study to date on trail hunting.
Now, it's time to share our findings.
An Investigation into Partridge Breeding Farms in Britain
In November 2015, Investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports visited three of Britain’s largest red-legged partridge breeding farms which supply shooting estates:
* Heart of England Farms, Claverdon, Warwickshire
* Hy-Fly, Pilling Lane, Preesall, Lancashire
* Southern Partridges, Court Barton, Yarnscombe, Devon
The breeding partridges on all three farms were confined in small, barren cages without perches, enrichment or litter. They were surrounded on four sides by solid walls, their only view of the world being the sky above and piles of excrement below. Breeding partridges spend two to three years confined in these battery cages, released only when their egg production declines. Then they’ll be shot.
"There's a kill, there's a kill."
This is just part of the job of a hunt saboteur, someone who has volunteered their time and risked their own safety to protect animals through nonviolent tactics.
Meet The People Who Throw Themselves In Front Of Hunters
"This is private property," a man shouts into a nearby camera. A woman's voice can be heard as well, replying: "We're just trying to make sure a crime is not going to be committed."
Near her, two people on horseback are waiting for something. After a few moments of footage, during which they stare at the camera, it seems they're waiting for the woman to turn around and leave.
The woman with the camera isn't about to be intimidated. She isn't about to let what the hunters want to happen, happen.
The League Against Cruel Sports stands by its decision to take a private prosecution against a fox hunt despite being advised to withdraw from the trial. The case, at Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court, involved six members of the Devon based Lamerton Hunt who were each being prosecuted by the League for hunting a wild mammal with dogs contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act.
The lifeless body of the fox is slung over a horse during Atherstone Hunt. Picture: West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs.
A POLICE investigation has been launched after video footage emerged which appears to show a fox being killed during a hunt near Atherstone. West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs – who are fiercely against hunting – posted the shocking footage on their Facebook page.
This newly-published footage from the Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt appears to show illegal hunting. Hounds are seen chasing a fox, with encouragement from the huntsman.
In May this year, the League Against Cruel Sports published a video exposé which suggested that half of Scotland’s hunts were breaking the law. You can view this investigation here -
by Zoe Williams - Guardian newspaper
If your opponents are resorting to Tea party tactics to hound you, reasoned argument won’t help win the day
It’s a “sinister and nasty” organisation, one that “hounds” the innocent and “bullies and threatens” the blameless, according to one critic. And last week Neil Parish, chairman of a new Commons committee, announced an official investigation into the “balance” of its activities. Which evil organisation could this be?
Journalists have long sought a picture of hunt supporter David Cameron riding to hounds, to no avail — prompting suspicions that someone with Cameron’s interests at heart may have paid to take any such images off the market.
But after extensive inquiries, we finally uncovered this photograph of the future PM preparing to set off for a day’s sport. It was taken at the final gathering of the Heythrop Hunt before the ban came into effect, a few days after Christmas 2004.
Cameron can be seen on a fine bay mount, looking a little nervous, as horses assemble in the square in Chipping Norton.
By MICHAEL ASHCROFT and ISABEL OAKESHOTT FOR THE DAILY MAIL
* Exclusive sought-after picture emerges of David Cameron riding at hunt
* Photo taken at final gathering of the Heythrop Hunt before the hunting ban
* Future PM pictured on a fine bay mount as horses assemble in Cotswolds
* Since becoming Prime Minister, Cameron has avoided being seen at hunts
Aren't Our Police Wonderful - Especially at Hunt Meets?
Whilst attempting to monitor the Grafton Hunt because of suspected illegal foxhunting at Shelswell Park, Newton Purcell, Bicester on 19 February 2015, a female Hunt Monitor was subjected to bullying tactics by the hunt servants. She was blocked in by vehicles belonging to the hunt or hunt supporters for over two hours.
The police were useless in this situation. Take a look and see what you think. Totally unacceptable!
From the Hunt Monitors Association
The Cruelty of Cub Hunting is shrouded in secrecy
The season is about to start - can you provide any information on your local hunt meets?
We will treat this in the strictest confidence
The Shy Huntsman or What the Grafton Hunt Didn't Want You to See
Hunt Monitors believe that this film shows illegal fox hunting but the authorities said "the footage fell short of having a realistic chance of success in the courts....that's not to say they were not hunting".
We feel this reinforces the fact that The Hunting Act needs strengthening to make it easier for the authorities to prosecute those hunts that continue to cynically make a mockery of the law.
MPs express 'grave concern' over Leicestershire Police methods used against peaceful anti-hunt protesters
Leicestershire Police have misused a Police Information Notice (P.I.N), issuing it to two Hunt Saboteurs without any evidence of any wrong doing and based purely on unsubstantiated “allegations” made by a member of the Atherstone Hunt.
The saboteurs have video evidence of this member of the hunt behaving anti-socially and admitting on camera to assaulting one of them.
Yet instead of issuing him with a P.I.N Leicestershire Police are merely going to talk to him about his behaviour and issue the sabs with a P.I.N.
A petition, social media campaign and protest letter from MPs have helped overturn police action against anti-hunt campaigners.
Two police information notices - PINs - handed to members of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs by Leicestershire constabulary have been rescinded.
A vote on relaxing the Hunting Act has been postponed after the SNP said it would oppose the changes.
The SNP's intervention meant the reforms, which would only apply in England and Wales, were unlikely to win a Commons majority.
MPs were due to consider the change with a free vote on Wednesday.
BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said changes restricting Scottish MPs' voting rights on non-Scottish issues could now be introduced first.
SNP will vote to keep English fox hunting legislation
The SNP group at Westminster is to vote against attempts to relax the ban on fox hunting in England and Wales.
Angus Robertson, leader of the group, said the party wanted to send a message to the Conservative government about the narrowness of its majority.
He said the ban in England and Wales should be maintained while the Scottish parliament considers strengthening the law in Scotland.
RESPONSE FROM CSHA
“This is a sneaky way to try and weaken even further the restrictions of the Hunting Act, as it is clear that a bid to get a total repeal would fail.
It is completely dishonest, as all the evidence shows foxes represent no danger to lambs. It’s just a dirty trick,” - Penny Little, an independent hunt monitor.
RESPONSE FROM THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 8th July 2015.
Jo Cox Labour, Batley and Spen - "With people queuing to access food banks in my constituency, does the Prime Minister think it is a priority for the country to bring back foxhunting?
Kidnapped for Cruelty - 16 fox cubs found in a barn 'linked to high profile hunt', claims charity
Covert video evidence taken by the League Against Cruel Sports reveals 16 fox cubs as young as three months incarcerated in a dark shed on land linked to the Middleton Foxhounds hunt, near Malton in North Yorkshire.
The video1, filmed as part of a League investigation in late May 2015, shows a shed fitted out to mimic a fox earth, and the cubs being visited by a Middleton Foxhounds employee2 to be fed on dead chickens and provided with dirty water in bowls. There were no vixens or adult foxes, which suggests the cubs were forcibly removed from their earths.
Hunting brutality that Cameron wants to legalise
Foxes are sensitive, intelligent and lovely animals. To hunters they are defenceless targets to be hounded to a terrible death. David Cameron, now re-elected in 2015, can't wait to overturn the Hunting Act. He and his Tory hunt supporting chums must be stopped.
NEW CAMPAIGNING FILM by scorpiovulpes
FIND OUT IF YOUR MP WOULD VOTE TO REPEAL HUNTING ACT
The new Government are planning a free vote to repeal the Hunting Act.
CSHA support The League Against Cruel Sports in advising its supporters to contact their MP to urge them to defend this vital piece of animal welfare legislation.
CSHA Response to Prime Minister's announcement on Hunting Act Repeal
Following the Prime Minister’s pledge that the newly elected Conservative Government will legislate to repeal the Hunting Act, the CSHA say;
The Hunting Act is an historic piece of wildlife animal welfare legislation, supported by 80 per cent of the British public and no Government should ignore such strong public feeling.
We would like to reassure our followers that the CSHA will continue to campaign with MPs from all parties to defend and strengthen this popular piece of legislation to defend our wildlife from a return to the barbaric practices of animal cruelty outlawed over ten years ago!
USEFUL WEB SITES ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON HUNTING ACT REPEAL
A Minority Pastime, an on-the-ground documentary following the daily encounters between hunters and saboteurs. Narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart with haunting music composed and performed by Maria Daines and Paul Killington.
A filmed journey of discovery - Asks the question: "Is it necessary, acceptable or justifiable to kill wild animals in the name or sport and tradition?" - Now released on-line in three parts.
"You can't legislate to change the heart, but you can legislate to restrain the heartless."- Martin Luther King
REIN IN THE HUNTERS - STRENGTHEN THE HUNTING ACT
Many organised Hunts still regularly chase and kill wild mammals for 'sport' under the guise of 'trail hunting'.
The Hunting Act 2004 allows them to take hounds to where they know 'quarry' will be found and, when the dogs chase and attack them, to simply claim 'accident'.
The prosecution has the often impossible task of proving they intended this outcome. We need a 'recklessness' clause added to the Act. Many laws criminalise reckless behaviour.
For instance, the road-using public would be at much greater risk of serious injury or death if reckless driving was not illegal.
Similar protection is necessary for wild animals such as foxes, deer and hares if the Hunting Act is to fulfil its purpose.
The CSHA is an initiative to persuade a Labour government to strengthen the Act they introduced to allow easier enforcement by the authorities and to enhance deterrence.
Tens of thousands of hunters, even before the Hunting Act became law, signed a Declaration stating they would defy the ban.
Because of loopholes in the law, they can continue to hunt and kill live quarry with little or no fear of sanction.
The Hunting Act 2004 desperately needs strengthening to ensure it properly protects wild animals from the tortuous deaths it was designed to prevent.