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.
Monday, 17 November 2014
Ten years ago (18 November) the Hunting Act 2004 was forced through Parliament and three months later, on 18 February 2005 it became law. Those opposed to hunting thought that would be the end, that the hunting community would give in and tail off to take up other, less contentious pastimes. But they had seriously underestimated those who live and work in the countryside.Read more
Thursday, 13 November 2014
The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that all charges against Devon and Somerset huntsman Donald Summersgill and joint-masters Rupert Andrews and David Greenwood have been dropped. The three faced a total of four charges relating to alleged incidents of hunting with dogs on 14 September and 24 October 2013. Avon and Somerset CPS had decided to bring charges based on unauthorised covert surveillance evidence supplied by employees of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS). However, today (13 November) solicitors for the defendants learned, in an email from the CPS, that all charges against them had been dropped.Read more
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes: Legislation on dogs has proved hazardous ground for politicians from the Dog Licence to the Dangerous Dogs Act. When the British obsession with canines comes up against our law makers problems usually ensue. There is, however, clearly a problem with some dogs, and more specifically some dog owners, and their impact on neighbours and wider communities. A few cases are immeasurably worse and, as we have seen on several occasions recently, dogs can kill. There are already laws which could address at least some of this behaviour, although they can be difficult to enforce, but politicians faced with a problem will always come up with new laws and that is what this Government has just done.Read more
Wednesday, 12 November 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.Read more
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
New dog control powers should not pose a problem for responsible dog owners, including those who use dogs for work or sport – says the Countryside Alliance. Additional powers were granted to the police last month under the Anti-social, Crime and Policing Act 2014, designed to give them greater flexibility when dealing with irresponsible dog owners and incidents involving dogs. These powers include acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs), community protection notices (CPNs) and public spaces protection orders (PSPOs). See below for our advice.Read more
Monday, 3 November 2014
Patrick Martin has decided to hang up his boots as Professional Huntsman of the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase after 23 great seasons (1992-2015): according to the latest MFHA records he is the sixth longest serving huntsman currently hunting hounds. He is pictured here at his final Opening Meet as Huntsman. A testimonial fund has been set up for Patrick - read on for more.Read more
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania has just announced his retirement but earlier this Autumn he spoke to the Countryside Alliance's Henrietta Rutgers for the Countryside Alliance magazine about his love of hunting, being a "Braw Lad" and how winning the National felt "surreal". Read the feature here.
Friday, 21 November 2014
Countryside Alliance Head of Media Charlotte Cooper writes: It’s interesting to mark the increased presence of the South Borsetshire hunt in the story lines of The Archers. For those of you who do not listen, The Archers is the Radio 4 soap set in the fictional village of Ambridge and the Countryside Alliance has remarked in the past that the Borsetshire is not a very representative pack, kept as it is at the periphery of rural life.Read more
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
On the 18 November the Yorkshire Post published the following piece by Countryside Alliance Campaigns Director Tim Bonner: Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act being passed by Parliament. It came into force six months later. For hunting, and for many people in the countryside, this was the lowest moment, but hunting still thrives despite all the fears and the dire predictions. How is it that an activity that was outlawed after an epic and bitter political campaign has survived?Read more
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Ron Black writes: The evolution of the fox within Great Britain remains largely unresolved. One thing, however, is for certain and that it that there was a type known to huntsmen and hunt followers as “greyhound” foxes. Fewer in number than the little red rover we hold so dear today, the greyhounds were bigger and had a good knowledge of a larger territory than today’s foxes. Now, in an effort to shed light on these foxes, Dr Robin G Allaby, Associate Professor at Warwick University and I are trying to locate “Greyhounds” using DNA. If you have a mask or entire specimen pre 1936 and are willing to donate 6 to 8 hairs would you please contact me at email@example.com.Read more