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17th May 2012

The People’s Campaign Against Hunting

In respect of enforcing the Hunting Act, some recent good news; three members of the Crawley & Horsham Hunt were convicted of illegally hunting a wild mammal with dogs at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court earlier this week. This brings the number of successful prosecutions since hunting was banned in 2005 to approaching two hundred and proves yet again that enforcement can work. Well done to everyone in giving justice a chance; from monitors with video cameras to the police and law enforcement agencies.

Official figures show that, seven years on, the Hunting Act (2005) is the most successful piece of wildlife protection legislation to be introduced in recent times. It is curtailing the excesses of both registered Hunts and poacher-types across the countryside.

Nothing in life remains the same and this applies to the law as much as anything else. There is always an argument for updating the legal system as society grows and develops. The Hunting Act is no exception in this. Continued enforcement, coupled with future reinforcement, is the only sensible way forward.

In the meantime, Hounds Off is campaigning hard to make as much of the country Hunt-Free as possible by encouraging people like you to ban bloodsports where you live. Have a look at our website for details. Plump for the Hassle Free Option or Belt & Braces Approach, depending on your circumstance, and just follow the simple step-by-step instructions.

Remember that our power lies in our collective strength. Hounds Off is proud to reveal that over 500 English acres have been made Hunt-Free since our launch in September 2011. Much of this is in prime foxhunting country. We want the exclusion zone to increase and spread. Please take action and share our website with your family and friends.

Hounds Off really is the people’s campaign against hunting!

Posted by Joe Hashman

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10 Comments | Leave a comment

  • David Ward says:
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

    More and more people need to get behind a hunt free country, the ban is there for a reason, and that reason should never be broken. I am trying to get a local huntsman publicly named and shamed for a hunt that he carried out at the beginning of this year. What part of the hunting ban doesn’t he understand or is he just a barbaric brute, these people are just one step away from killing an human.

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  • Sheila Ferguson says:
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Excellent news! Glad to join and share your website.

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  • Boris says:
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    The ban is in place but the ban still allows hunting to continue. They can hunt with in the law on any land if the farmer has said so. There are more people for getting the ban repealed and you Mark my words it will be.

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    • Joe says:
      Posted May 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks for your comment.
      We applaud the decision to find the defendants guilty of illegally hunting a wild mammal with dogs. We are in no doubt that justice has been done in this case.
      Landowners need to be careful about permitting illegal hunting on their land as they can be found liable too; in July 2009 two landowners were found guilty of attending and permitting their land to be used for an illegal hare coursing event. Former racehorse trainer Miles Henry Easterby, 79, of Great Habton near Malton and Major John Shaw, 56, of Welburn near Kirkbymoor-side were convicted on July 29 at Scarborough Magistrates Court of breaching the Hunting Act in March 2007 in North Yorkshire plus, in Dec 2008 a Norfolk landowner was convicted under the Hunting Act 2004 of allowing her property to be used for hare coursing during two organised events, following a prosecution based on footage taken by animal welfare groups including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and brought by the RSPCA.

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  • Boris johnson says:
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Can I say about from 6 cases. All the cases that have been brought before the couts under the hunting act have been from hare coursing most of which was on land with out permission and I agree that all these should be brought before the courts. But you will find that all hunts with in the law I am sure that some times thing go wrong because of the nature of hunting. No hunts intend on going out to kill foxes. But there are ways that hunts can kill foxes. And this will always be the way. Hunts never intend to go on land they should not be on and will always call hounds of if a fox happened to get up while on a trail. I can understand why you might think you need to protect you property and pets. But it’s really not nessary. More pets are killed by foxes than hounds. Hounds was only ever trained to kill foxes nothing else.

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    • Joe says:
      Posted May 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Unfortunately there are many documented cases of Hunts trespassing on land which they have been requested to avoid, and numerous apologies from Hunt representatives for the distress, harassment and alarm that these incidents have caused. Hounds Off is a resource which homeowners or landowners can use if they wish to make where they live a Hunt Free Zone. Of coarse, what happens elsewhere often cannot be accounted for but it is to be hoped that the wishes of the public in such instances will be respected.

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  • Boris says:
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Of course if anyone asked a hunt to keep of there land they would do so and they would do there best to stay of. But just some time it can happen that a hound or a couple may get of the line they may be following. No hunt intends to hurt or stress anyone out at all. All people that ride with hunts and the hunt staff are always polite and despite what you and some others may think they are all normal people. Could I also point out that the people that would ride on horse back in the field are there for fun of the ride not the kill of the fox this is because they get to rid on land you would not normally ride on and jump fences on there horse. The hunt it self is there to manage the fox on the land they have been invitet on. They don’t do it to see a fox killed they do it to manange the wildlife in the country side. I do have some advise for you and anyone else who lives in the country side but does not like hunting. Move back to the towns and city where you not going to see it.

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    • Joe says:
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:28 am

      Thanks for this. The scene you describe is quite different to my personal experiences and we may just have to agree to differ on this one.
      Hunts which do not violate the Hunting Act have nothing to worry about. But there are Hunts that employ cynical subterfuge to disguise their law-breaking and, in my experience, they do not take kindly to being watched by anyone who is not one of their own. No one should be above the law.
      Most folk are opposed to bloodsports. That applies to town and country. Your idea that anyone who does not like foxhunting should move to an urban area is unrealistic. Opposition to the illegal hunting of wild mammals with dogs is not a town versus country issue. It unites many people, although I accept that this does not include you.

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  • J Carter says:
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Thank you so much for the wonderful support and advice you provide through Hounds Off. We repeatedly suffer from the arrogant and bullying behaviour of our local hunt in Kent called the Ashford Valley Hunt. On the 23rd Nov 13, we and our surrounding neighbours suffered yet another incident of trespass, with hounds running through our private land with livestock – pregnant ewes mostly – causing everyone great distress. The Hunt Master was unapologetic, and extremely patronizing. No surprise there! FYI he received the Hounds Off letter last year, sent by all the local residents, and yet repeatedly fails to keep his promise to avoid trespassing. It is astonishing that so-called respectable members of society can behave in such a thuggish manner. They believe they can cherry-pick the laws to suit them, and disregard everyone else who lives in rural communities. My husband went to Agricultural College, and has worked on many farms. We are not “townies”. We respect and enjoy our wildlife and the natural environment. It is members of the Hunt who do not understand the countryside. Fortunately they are vastly outnumbered by the well-informed and decent majority. We plan to use all available methods to put an end to this harassment. Will keep you posted on our progress.

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