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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Thank you for helping us try to unmask the hunt saboteurs

Friday, 20 February 2015

Thank-you to the thousands of you who took the time to sign up to our recent e-campaign on unmasking hunt saboteurs. We have now closed the e-campaign, which was a huge success. We will continue to communicate with Police & Crime Commissioners on this important subject, hoping to simplify the current rules. We would ask you to forward any correspondence you receive from your Police & Crime Commissioner, Chief Constable or Member of Parliament, to us at news@countryside-alliance.org. We will of course keep you posted on developments.

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Labour Party declares intentions on hunting and "shooting estates"

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Labour Party has used the tenth anniversary of the Hunting Act to launch its "Labour Protecting Animals" pledge. The pledge is light on detail and skates over several issues, including "defending" the Hunting Act, commenting: "Only Labour can protect the Hunting Act because Labour is the only major political party committed to defending it." Interesting that a pledge to do nothing now passes muster. We have concerns about the wording of the aspect of the party's pledge dedicated "to reducing animal cruelty on shooting estates," saying it will "Tackle wildlife crime and reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates." Why shooting estates, specifically? You can't help but feel that Labour Party class warfare is alive and well.

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Patrick Martin with the Bicester Hounds

Hunting Act is a failed law that must be repealed, says hunting community

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Hunting Act 2004 came into law on 18 February 2005, but ten years on the hunting community is still just as keen to see this illogical, badly drafted and unfair law consigned to history. In 2015 practically every one of the 300 plus hunts that were operating when the ban was passed is still going strong, thanks to the determination of the hunting community – but continuing like this is not an option.

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On the tenth anniversary of the Hunting Act - buy your "Still here, still hunting"badge

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

We have launched a new bespoke metal badge to mark ten years since the enforcement of the Hunting Act  This badge is a celebration of hunting and signifies the strength of this great tradition that will hopefully continue to thrive for many more years to come. The tenth anniversary of enforcement is 18th February so please buy one and wear it with pride on the day.

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Patrick Martin's final season as Huntsman to the Bicester

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.

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What to do if you or your business is targeted by anti-hunt activists

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Even though anti-hunt activists are very small in number, if you are targeted it can be a frightening and unpleasant experience. With the explosion of social media such as Facebook and Twitter has come the rise of internet bullying and therefore this advice maybe useful for anyone experiencing such action.

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Jim Barrington blogs on Labour's new animal welfare pledge

Friday, 20 February 2015

Our animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington was busy on 18th February, taking part in dozens of broadcast interviews about the 10th anniversary of the enforcement of the Hunting Act. Jim's calm and logical approach to animal welfare is always worth listening to or, in the case of this new blog post, reading. In "A curate's egg from Labour" Jim examines the Labour Party's newly launched pledge on animal welfare, finding a few things to like but others, like defending the Hunting Act, to dislike. Jim writes: "this document concentrates more on attacking activities Labour thinks are unpopular with the public. It’s clearly more about attracting votes than improving animal welfare." Read the full post here.

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The Hunting Act - ten years of not working

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Director of Campaigns´╗┐ Tim Bonner writes on the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act: As you are no doubt aware, today is the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act coming into force in England and Wales. The Countryside Alliance's press office has been working at capacity in the past few weeks, dealing with media bids for the anniversary, and our thanks to, amongst many others, the Masters and Staff of the Bicester, the Berkeley, the Beaufort, the Old Berks (Huntsman Michael Scott is pictured) and the Kimblewick, for yet again accepting the opportunity to talk about hunting as it is now, and explaining why the Hunting Act has not worked.

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Countryfile on the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act

Monday, 16 February 2015

On Sunday 15th February the BBC's Countryfile programme was in Gloucestershire. The show looked at the Hunting Act 10 years on and spoke to Henry Berkeley, Master of the Berkeley Hunt, Capt Farquhar, Master of the Beaufort Foxhounds and the Huntsman Tony Holdsworth. Presenter Tom Heap also spoke to Michael Stephenson of the League Against Cruel Sports and asked him about trail hunting. He asked: "Would you like to see the hunts vanishing?" and Stephenson responded "yes." The show also spoke to Alun Michael, now a Police and Crime Commissioner but in 2004/5 the Labour Minister charged with getting the Hunting Bill through Parliament. Finally, Tom Heap spoke to Welsh Farmers in the Brecons about the Act, the less-than-ideal way they operate using just two hounds and the impact on sheep farming (from about 28 mins). Finally, our animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington spoke to Tom Heap about the complexity of hunting (approx 31 mins). Watch on the BBC iplayer here.
 

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Middleton Hounds

Middleton Hunt Master and Huntsman Tom Holt not guilty

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Middleton Hunt Master and Huntsman Tom Holt has been found not guilty of a Hunting Act offence after a trial at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court. Employees of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) had covertly filmed Mr Holt on 19th February near Malton in North Yorkshire and made allegations of illegal hunting. The Crown Prosecution Service brought a prosecution and, nearly a year later, Mr Holt has today been found not guilty.

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Hunting

News and views on hunting
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Rural life and its future
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