The Countryside Alliance fought a long and successful campaign to expose the damage the Hunting Act 2004 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.
Friday, 24 April 2015
On 28 April Horse & Hound reported: Top hornblower takes Horse & Hound Challenge Cup back to Northumberland. The article revealed that Robert McCarthy, Huntsman to the Percy Hunt based at Alnwick, Northumberland, won the horn blowing competition at the recent Horn & Hound Ball at Cheltenham Racecourse. The magazine reports: "Ten huntsmen, both professional and amateur, travelled from their different packs around the country to take part in the competition sponsored by Horse & Hound. Participants were judged by Nigel Peel — master and huntsman of the North Cotswold — and Capt Ian Farquhar MFH (Duke of Beaufort’s), on their ability to blow “gone away” and “going home”. Making their decisions from behind the stage — where they were not aware of the order of the competitors — they were unanimous in their decision of the winner." Read more here.Read more
Thursday, 23 April 2015
David Cameron appeared on Andrew Marr's political show on Sunday 19th April. As Camilla Swift wrote for The Spectator on Monday: "'You told the Countryside Alliance magazine recently that your favourite sport was foxhunting’, Marr declared. ‘Is that really true?’ Cameron looked utterly bemused, but Marr was so keen on the question that he repeated it: ‘You said: “It’s my favourite sport which I love.” Is that true?’ Perhaps unsurprisingly, a Twitter-storm erupted at the news that Cameron had apparently ‘admitted’ to his favourite sport being foxhunting. But where on earth did they find that quote? Marr claimed it was from a piece Cameron had written in the latest issue of the Countryside Alliance magazine, which was posted out to the organisation’s members in March. It’s no wonder that Cameron looked bemused. After all, he had said nothing of the sort." Andrew Marr has since apologised, tweeting: "Cock up not conspiracy, but wrong on my part."Read more
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
The main parties have now launched their manifestos ahead of the General Election on 7th May. We bring you the main points from each one relating to a key part of our own manifesto - wildlife management. Read our own manifesto chapter on wildlife management here.Read more
Thursday, 19 March 2015
Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes: "Yesterday the RSPCA dropped its last outstanding case involving a hunt when it discontinued a Hunting Act prosecution involving Will Bryer, Master and Huntsman of the Cattistock Hunt. There is no need to linger on the RSPCA's tortuous explanation for its U-turn other than to note that it should be no surprise to any prosecutor that it might have to prove its case.Read more
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
The RSPCA has today dropped its last prosecution of a hunt. Will Bryer, master and huntsman of the Cattistock hunt in Dorset had been charged with one offence of hunting a fox with dogs, alleged to have taken place on 2 December 2014. However, in advance of a hearing due to take place at Weymouth Magistrates Court on Friday (20 March) the RSPCA has written to Mr Bryer’s solicitor Jamie Foster, of Foster Griffin, stating it will not be pursuing the prosecution as there is no evidence on which they could legitimately continue.Read more
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.
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Having received a huge number of photos for our Tumblers' Club competition supported by Pol Roger Champagne, the entries have been vigorously studied and a decision made. Judged by a panel of hunting supporters including The Field's Ali Henson and three-day eventer Harry Meade, plus representatives from Pol Roger and the Countryside Alliance, it was a tough decision and a very closely fought competition. Thank you to everyone who entered. Congratulations to the winning photographer, Ella Meadows, and tumbler Sam Matthews, who will each receive a tankard and a magnum of Pol Roger champagne. Ella took this photo captioned “I would bend over backwards to continue hunting” on 14th December 2014 at a joint meet between the Weston and Banwell and the Taunton Vale Harriers.Read more
Thursday, 2 April 2015
Last week hundreds of friends of the late Clarissa Dickson Wright gathered at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, to celebrate and remember a life well lived. The service featured readings from several good friends, including farmers Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm in Cumbria and Jan McCourt of Northfield Farm in Rutland and local food champion Henrietta Green - Clarissa's love of food and fieldsports shone through. A particular high point occurred when the excellent St Bride's choir delivered, poker faced, an arrangement of "Rasputin", the song Clarissa had chosen on Desert Island Discs and danced to at her 60th birthday party. It was a service as fun and lively as Clarissa herself, and we will continue our work to ensure her legacy.
Wednesday, 1 April 2015
The Newmarket Countryside Alliance Race Day will take place this year on Thursday 25th June on the stunning July Course. One of the main spectacles of the day is the Race for Repeal which is open to all Masters, Hunt Staff and subscribers to packs in the UK, giving an unique opportunity to represent your Hunt at Newmarket The race is run over eight furlongs and is the first race of the day, followed by lunch in the Moorstyle Marquee opposite the finishing post. If you would like to take part in the race, please could you contact William Burton at email@example.com for further details of qualifications and the terms of riding. Please contact him by Tuesday 14th April.
Thursday, 26 March 2015
Countryside Alliance Campaigns Director Tim Bonner has written for the Open Democracy website. In "Lies, damn lies and hunting polls" Tim observes that "Whether the public support or oppose the hunting ban seems to depend very much on which question is asked, and who's asking the question." Read the article in full here.