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18th October 2018

Government Defends Wildlife Crime On Public Land

Forestry Commission sign warning of a 2016 drag hunting event at North York Moors, where no actual drag hunt operates. Photo courtesy International Fund for Animal Welfare

GOVERNMENT DEFENDS WILDLIFE CRIME IN PUBLICLY OWNED FORESTS

Yesterday, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs responded to a petition calling for an end to the licensing of so-called ‘trail hunts’ on the Public Forest Estate, which is owned & managed by the Forestry Commission on behalf of the public. The response is pretty much a paraphrased Countryside Alliance press release and there are a couple of things they’ve either overlooked, perhaps accidentally, perhaps not:

– The petition specifically doesn’t call for an end to licences given to hunts which have agreements formed under a general agreement with the Master of Draghounds & Bloodhounds Association (MDBA), as drag hunting & clean boot hunting are not covers for wildlife crime.
– DEFRA’s response omits that licences are also granted to hunts under a general agreement with the Association of Masters of Harriers & Beagles (AMHB), such as the New Forest Beagles.

Most importantly, though, they’ve regurgitated one of the most worn out lies in the country and they’ve done so without scrutiny. This is, of course, that fox & hare hunts have stopped hunting live quarry and started to ‘trail hunt’.

‘Trail hunting is a legitimate activity … Many hunts have since turned to trail hunting as an alternative to live quarry hunting…’ – DEFRA, 17th October 2018.

Here’s a couple of brief reasons why this is rubbish:

– In 2014, a review of RSPCA prosecuting activity was published by Stephen Wooler CB, a former Chief Inspector for the Crown Prosecution Service. On P109/s9.1 it stated that: ‘The evidence reviewed leaves no room for doubt that, despite the 2004 legislation, traditional fox hunting remains “business as usual” in many parts of the country.’
– Both before & after the Wooler Review, hunts that have been licensed to use public land by the Forestry Commission have been convicted; the Meynell & South Staffordshire Hunt were convicted under the Hunting Act 2004 based on footage from Derby Hunt Saboteurs and the Cottesmore Hunt were convicted under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 based on footage from the League Against Cruel Sports.

DEFRA have rejected the requests of the petition on a completely false premise. It remains open & ongoing to gain signatures, and needs 100,000 signatures before 18th March 2019. If you haven’t signed this already, please do so here!

© Jack Riggall

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11 Comments | Leave a comment

  • Terry Dite says:
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Really no more than I expected of our currupt and dishonest government and establishment. Where this is going to end I of course have no idea, but fear for my children and grandchildren. For myself I have no fear. I have lived through an age when Great Britain and ALL it stood for was respected.

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  • Kim says:
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:58 am

    WHY ? Do you think its ok for people with nothing better to do ,rather than work go out and cruelly kill in cold blood everything with four legs in the countryside . This is a disgrace

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    • Terry Dite says:
      Posted October 19, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      I was merely expressing my personal dismay and disgust that the corrupt authorities under which our lives are controlled, are sadly becoming more overtly disconnected from the ordinary people, and are opting to favour and openly support the affluent community to a much greater extent than hitherto. If you possessed a modicum of common sense you would, like everyone else who responded to this item, realise the point I was trying to make and avoided deciding to troll me by suggesting I supported senseless animal slaughter for the sole purpose of getting a perverted thrill out of life. Read things sensibly.

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  • David Spratt says:
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

    We all know that the government supports the slaughter of our wildlife, but they won’t stop lying about it. It’s time for us all to defend innocent animals from the evil hunters and their supporters – because the tories never will!

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  • Jane Hutchins says:
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Trail hunting is nothing more than a guise for illegal hunting. Hunting with hounds is a barbaric pastime and has no place in modern day society

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  • Rachel Houghton says:
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Needs stopping, it’s barbaric !

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  • Moira Carter says:
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Agree agree agree

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  • Gill Mitchell says:
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Will there be terrier men with dogs accompanying these hunts? If there will, the term ‘trail’ hunting is a smokescreen for hunting foxes. Terrier men use their dogs to flush out foxes that have gone to ground in an attempt to escape being ripped to pieces by the hounds. Wake up, you’re being lied to, or do you really know what the hunts are up to and choose to turn a blind eye?

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  • Karen Hartley says:
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Trail hunting is the cover to hide behind,for actual hunting of wildlife. They know it. We know it. So why is the forrestry commission aiding and abetting these nicely dressed lowlife criminals?.

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    • Kim walker says:
      Posted October 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      This is discraceful wont be voting tory anymore

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  • m conneely says:
    Posted October 21, 2018 at 10:27 am

    killing animals for fun his no exceptable as for trail hunting in the forestof dean where we havedeer and boar live here so their not wecome

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