COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

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Hunting

The Countryside Alliance fought a long and successful campaign to expose the damage the Act would do to the rural economy, traditions and local communities without any evidence to justify it on grounds of animal welfare.

Our campaign has guaranteed that although the Hunting Act came into force on 17th February 2005 it is now widely acknowledged to be bad law. It is no accident that the law has been exposed for what it is: bad for the rural economy, bad for rural communities, bad for animal welfare and a waste of police resources.

Thanks to our determined efforts working with hunts the vast majority have managed to adapt to the legislation whilst continuing to offer a legal wildlife management service and retain the support necessary to sustain the infrastructure of hunting and the jobs that go with it.

There have been only a handful of successful convictions under the Hunting Act involving hunts. Over 97% of convictions under the Act relate to casual hunting or ‘poaching’. However, it cannot be right that a large section of law-abiding citizens continue to be targeted by animal rights groups and forced live in fear of malicious prosecution. The Countryside Alliance continues to oppose the Hunting Act and promote legal hunting for all the benefits to individuals, the environment and the rural economy that it brings.

 

Campaigns - Hunting:

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Siegfried Sassoon served in the trenches

Tim Bonner explains the enduring appeal of "Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man"

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

In our Autumn 2014 magazine, as part of our Great War commemoration strand "The Countryside in War," Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner explains the enduring appeal of Siegfried Sassoon's classic work "Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man". In his article Tim writes that Sassoon is "brilliant on the strange, but common, contradiction of loving both the fox and the hunting of it..... it is perfectly possible to create a warm, even loving, portrayal of a way of life whilst also understanding its limitations and oddities." Click here to read the article.

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Charlie Pye-Smith on his love of the countryside

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

In our Autumn 2014 magazine author and journalist Charlie Pye-Smith writes the popular "My Countryside" column. Charlie's love of the countryside comes from "a process of immersion" as a child and he muses that much of what children learn about nature and the countryside these days "...will come from television, tainted by the syrupy antthropomorphism of celebrity presenters." Charlie tackles the BBC, the RSPB, deer, badgers, even the American mink, and observes that "there is scarcely an acre of Britain which is truly wild." Read Charlie's piece here.

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Meynell & South Staffs Newcomers' Meet - 25th October

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt are having a Newcomers’ Meet on Saturday 25 October 2014 at Cutler Park, Mercaston DE6 3BL. The meet will be at 9am and will cater for all ages and abilities. Hunting is a great way to see different areas of the country, to make friends and to watch hounds work which is a very special experience. All newcomers are welcome: Adults: £20 Children: £10 We just ask that you book in with Rachael Morley on 07889 083194 or Louise Williams on 07990 550547 so that we have a rough idea of numbers and can give you some directions regarding parking, etc. More information also available on www.mssh.co.uk/newcomers-and-visitors.

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"Let's get real about wildlife" debate at Labour Party Conference

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Countryside Alliance held its first fringe meeting at this year's Labour Party Conference on the issue of wildlife management. The meeting was chaired by Johnny Heald of ORB International and speakers included Angela Smith MP, Shadow Defra Minister, David Bowles, Head of Public Affairs RSPCA, Jim Barrington, Animal Welfare Consultant and our very own Tim Bonner.

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Golden Valley Hunt Puppy Show and Kennels Open Day

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Countryside Alliance Young Writer Competition winner Georgie Archer has sent us an account of the Golden Valley Hunt Puppy Show and Kennels Open Day. Read on as Georgie explains why she has backed a Banker´╗┐: Arriving early at the Golden Valley Hunt Kennels in Aberedw to set up, I began to appreciate just how much work goes into the organisation and preparation for an event like this one. People were putting up marquees (the Hunt’s new marquee had its second outing in one week!) and signs up and down the road, setting out chairs, making sandwiches, collecting donated cakes and pies, grooming horses, sweeping yards, carrying things around, moving goats and Shetland ponies, putting up fencing and organising tables laden with food, drink and sponsorship forms; as well as trying to avoid several very small and absolutely adorable puppies ambling around the house (or just trying to avoid getting distracted by them).

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Our magazine's 'Countryside in War' series begins with horses in the Great War

Thursday, 18 September 2014

To commemorate the centenary of the Great War the Countryside Alliance's magazine will, over the next four years, include articles in a series entitled "The Countryside in War." First in this series is a piece on the horses used in the great war, the numbers, the logistics and the fears of the men who cared for them. Click here to read the piece, which begins with this quote from HM the King written in a letter to Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig: "It was a pleasure to me to find from the admirable condition of the horses and mules of the various units I inspected that the new Armies fully uphold our national reputation as good horse-masters." (NB in the print version received by members there is a printing error curtailing this article. This online version is correct.)

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Melissa Kite in the Spectator: If the RSPCA can prosecute you, why shouldn't it take Freedom of Info

Thursday, 18 September 2014

In the Spectator in mid-September 2014 Melissa Kite wrote a piece entitled "If the RSPCA can prosecute you, why shouldn't it take Freedom of Information requests?" Melissa's piece began: "After a rush of blood to the head, I decided it might be a good idea to ask some awkward questions of the RSPCA. Oh no, I hear you cry. What fresh hell is this? Let me explain. I found out that the charity is pretty much closed to any kind of scrutiny. Unlike other powerful organisations, the police or government bodies, the RSPCA is immune to Freedom of Information requests." Read the piece in full here.

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Win a magnum of Pol Roger Champagne in our Tumblers' Club Competition - new for the 2014/15 season!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

In conjunction with the new 2014/15 hunting season The Countryside Alliance, generously supported by Pol Roger Champagne are running a new competition. We would like you to send in your photographs (open to amateurs only) of the most humorous tumble that you manage to capture on camera this season, to celebrate the brave souls that go hunting and the trusty steeds that carry them.

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Countryside Alliance criticises CPS for "inexplicable" charges against huntsman

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the confirmation from the CPS today (10 September) that all charges relating to members of Cumbria’s Melbreak hunt have been dropped.
Huntsman Edward Liddle had been charged under the Hunting Act and Dangerous Dogs Act after witnesses alleged that illegal hunting took place in Buttermere, Cumbria on 9 March.
Countryside Alliance director of campaigns Tim Bonner said: “Mr Liddle and the Melbreak cooperated fully with the police inquiries from the start and there was never any evidence that Mr Liddle had been in breach of either act, therefore we were surprised when Cumbria Constabulary chose to pursue their inquiries. It was even more inexplicable when the CPS then chose to bring charges against Mr Liddle.

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Pre-hunting courses in Gloucestershire in September & October - book now

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Simon Lawrance MFH is offering pre-hunting courses at the Calmsden Cross Country Course at Ampney Down Farm on 28th September, 17th & 31st October, ahead of the 2014 season. Simon has been based in the Chipping Norton area of Oxfordshire for 25 years. He has produced and evented horses up to CCI 4 star level, having completed Badminton and Burghley on several occasions. He is a very well established name in Eventing and hunting circles. Simon has trained with Emile Faurie, Lars Sederholm, Yogi Breisner and Ginny Elliot, and is a member of the British Eventing Coach Programme. He has trained all levels of riders for many years, and is a British Eventing accredited UKCC level 3 (eventing specific) trainer, and under 18 Coach for the Central Region. Simon has been fieldmaster for the Heythrop Hunt since 2002, and Joint Master of Hounds since 2006. Read on for booking details.

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