20th Sep 2015
A lovely photo appeared on our Facebook page on Friday. Jenny Rogers posted it, showing two horses looking over a gate with a Hounds Off NO HUNTING notice attached. The local hunt held an early morning meet in the area last week and it helped persuade them to avoid the property on this occasion. We hope they continue to keep their hounds off land where they are not wanted.
There was lots of positive feedback from our online community. Jenny wrote the following in response;
“Thank you for your comments. We have protected our farm for the past 30 years but last March the hunt sent their dogs onto our land and chased our foxes. It was a horrible day as I desperately tried to stop the hounds on my own. This year I decided it was going to be different! Seeing as the hunt believe they are above the law and happily chase and kill foxes throughout our countryside daily, we spoke to neighbours who agreed to be added to our boundaries for ‘no hunting’. This took our fox oasis to 130 acres. Since then 3 more neighbours have contacted me with another 60 acres! I encourage everyone to do this no matter how small your garden. We were sat last year in a friends 1/4 acre garden with our young children playing when a whole pack of hounds ran into the garden and started baying. The riders/followers were no where near and had no control. If the hunt had received a letter stating that the hounds were not allowed there and there were posters up then they would have to have made more effort to control them and we hope would keep their distance. Just think if we all did this and encourage others too. Soon they will run out of ‘safe’ land to ride through where their hounds can keep contained, or face prosecutions. Together we can stop them.”
The conversation continued. Cheryl Woodall enthused, “That’s brilliant and I’m so so pleased that a fellow country dweller and horse owner has stood up to the hunt! I come from a huge hunting area and feel like a Alien because of my views. It takes courage to stand up for your beliefs in a pro hunt area as they can be intimidating and the local police turn a blind eye and let the hunt flaunt the law daily! It’s so corrupt.”
Jenny replied, “Hi Cheryl, we run a horse retirement charity on our farm so have about 20 elderly horses. We combine this with conservation and are in the process of turning our farm into a nature reserve. The hunt have been trying to get on our land for years and we have always felt helpless. Now I think the times are changing and as soon as I stood up to them I was amazed at the support from neighbours and friends.”
We salute these folks, and people everywhere, who actively oppose illegal bloodsports, make their homes and gardens sanctuaries for wildlife, engage with us and others via social media, write letters to the papers, or do one of the many things we can all do to voice our disapproval of hunting with dogs for sport.
Despite being a minority pastime, hunters continue to have an out-of-proportion influence over rural communities. One of the great things which Jenny has demonstrated through her actions is that when you do come out as anti hunting others take heart and feel able to speak up too. It’s nice to know that you’re in good company.
Illegal hunting is widespread. Until politicians act to reinforce existing legislation, and while we wait for the police to take enforcing it seriously, warning hunts to keep their hounds off our farms, smallholdings, paddocks and gardens is something which is really making a positive difference.
The Hounds Off website, www.houndsoff.co.uk, contains all the information you need to empower yourself and protect wildlife where you live. You can visit our Action & Advice pages, download your own NO HUNTING notice, become part of our online community or maybe simply purchase some greeting cards and other foxy merchandise from the online Hounds Off shop. We are easily contactable too.
We’d love you to stand with Jenny, Cheryl, ourselves and thousands of others who are not alone in saying “Hounds Off Our Wildlife!” and doing something about it.
© Joe Hashman
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