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25th May 2015

Hounds Off – This Is How It Could Work

No Hunting notice - Ireland

Imagine this…

The secretary of a hunt suddenly has emails arriving to their inbox. These contain instructions from ordinary members of the public requesting that the So & So Hunt keeps off their land. At first these emails and letters come from people in towns and villages with small gardens and backyards. The So & So’s don’t go there anyway but wait! A Warning Off letter arrives through the post with a map attached for clarity, and there are more emails from folk who own paddocks and parcels of land in prime hunting country. Suddenly a farmer or two is included and at this stage the Hunt Secretary knows that the So & So’s could be in trouble. Access to the land is important to keep hounds running but the Secretary starts to realise that some of their favourite haunts could become no-go areas.

This scenario is exactly what Hounds Off wants to see and support. Our website provides all the information you need to do it yourself! With any luck you’re reading this on www.houndsoff.co.uk already.

The Hunting Act (2004) should have ended the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales. Sadly it hasn’t, though the spirit of the law is clear and over 300 prosecutions prove that where there is a will there can be a way. But what’s also apparent is that a minority of individuals have been prepared to break the law and police forces have failed to enforce it. Now fox hunters and their ilk are banking on a sympathetic Tory Government fulfilling its promise to provide parliamentary time and resources to repeal the Hunting Act.

And this, compassionate friends, is why creating hunt-free zones (essentially homegrown wildlife sanctuaries owned and cared for by people like us) is such a positive and powerful approach. The idea is simply to create pockets of land where hunting is forbidden. Over time, by joining up these individual areas, we could make hunting with hounds impractical over large stretches of countryside.

If you live in a town or city where urbanisation has curtailed hunting then you can still be part of this peaceful opposition. Your Warning Off email or letter to the hunt which would have frequented your neighbourhood in times past will show solidarity with others who are nipping that hunt in more sensitive areas. If you don’t know who this is don’t worry. Contact Hounds Off with your postcode and one of the team will help.

The process is not complicated. You write a short email to your local Hunt. It politely informs them that your property is now out of bounds. You copy this to your local MP as well, which includes them as a part of your actions. It means that, in the event of any future incident, your MP will already be involved in a process which might involve them and / or the police.

Everything you need to know, including guidance on wording, can be found at on the Hounds Off website which you’re reading this on. Go to Action & Advice and follow the prompts there.

The wonderful thing is that you can do all this from the comfort of your own home. If you ever wanted to take non-violent direct action against bloodsports without having to get up out of your chair then here you go! Access to the Internet and a few clicks or taps is all it takes. A member of the Hounds Off team will help you if you need it – just use social media or the Contact Us form to ask.

And so…

You’ve warned your local Hunt away from your property. So have the neighbours. In fact, most of the families in your street have done the same and everyone looks out for each other. The So-And-So Hunt no longer rides down your way because they know they’re not welcome and now there is nowhere for them to go anyway. All over the country, while politicians politicise and pressure groups pressure, the compassionate majority (us) is making a practical, peaceful and positive anti-hunting stand.

© Joe Hashman

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13 Comments | Leave a comment

  • Maggie Gothard says:
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Can’t find out if hunting done here – postcode BD23 5LR.Think the nearest one will be in Gargrave – do you have any details please?

    Reply to this comment >
    • HoundsOff says:
      Posted August 01, 2015 at 11:05 pm

      Hi Maggie, you’re right. It would seem that this area is not hunted by foxhounds. However, to the north east is the Wensleydale FH, north west the West Of Yore FH, West it’s the York & Ainsty (North) FH, south the Pennine FH, and east it’s the Pendle Forest & Craven FH. Come back to us for more info….

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  • Jenny Rogers says:
    Posted September 30, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I love it :) how to beat them at their own game!
    Soon all they will have will be their own backyards to dress up and canter around in shouting “everyone loves hunting” NOT!

    Reply to this comment >
  • Neil Armstrong says:
    Posted November 22, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    My post code is CW2 6SP & no hunting here?? but may be nearby??

    Reply to this comment >
  • Rey Mohammed says:
    Posted February 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    U.S. here. Except in the Northeast, we don’t really have kill foxhunts for sport, but I’m with you. No one has any business riding roughshod over other people’s lands without permission, unless it’s to put out a fire or save life. These “hunters” are as arrogant as our open-carry ammosexuals.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Krissy Neumann says:
    Posted February 10, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I live in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, and I have been following this website for some time. As I cannot sign petitions or add my name to any list, please know that there are a GREAT many Canadians that support you and especially the welfare of the beautiful fox. I do believe that if everyone shuts out and cuts off the “Priviledged Mounted on Horseback Murderers” of small and indefensible animals, perhaps they can find an indoor arena to chase each other around (without hound or horse) until they all collapse exhausted in a heap of priviledged uselessness. Shall we try?

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  • Val Brewster says:
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 9:17 am

    One would think that any person…..hunters included, should know enough to stay off of ANY private land. We don’t have fox hunting here but we do have the occasional hunter with or without hounds trying to poach deer and bear off of our property. We personally do NOT hunt at all and try to live in harmony with our wild animals. We even have cougar on our property, but we use common sense when hiking in our woods and respect all animals and their right to live here….after all…they were here first!
    I am sure a lot of the hunting rules are different here in Michigan from what you have in the U.K. but we were told that having clearly visible No Trespassing signs all around our property would serve as further warning to ‘stupid’ people ( for lack of a better word for trespassers) and make it much easier to prosecute these people to the fullest extent of tbe law. We once heard hounds on our property and went out and found hunters with them following close behind. My husband and I told them I no uncertain words that the next time they were on our property they would be prosecuted. We also took down their licence plate numbers from their trucks and let them know we meant business. They tried to say tbey couldn’t help it because their dogs “got away” from them because hounds follow their noses. We told them they needed to manage their dogs better and hunt on State land or their own land only or we would call the Department of Natural Resources and provide the Dept with their license plate numbers and explain that not only were they on private property but they were attempting to poach our deer. It’s been a couple of years and so far we haven’t had trouble again with this. We do keep vigilant though!
    I hope some day soon that it works out for the U.K. that they totally disallow ALL fox hunting soon. I can’t believe this still goes on. Keep up the good fight!

    Reply to this comment >
    • Rey Mohammed says:
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      I remember when, in Wisconsin, at least, a game warden who caught you going after deer with dogs would shoot them in front of you. In Florida, they are used for trail only, rather like bird dogs. What is the picture in Michigan?

      Reply to this comment >
  • Jane Facey says:
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Well done, a very worthwhile initiative.

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  • Chris Curran says:
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Excellent project. Hopefully this will really take off and develop into getting rid of all these arrogant people who believe they have the right to ride rough shod over other peoples’ land. Well done.

    Reply to this comment >
  • kerrie lovelock says:
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I love it.. I will be handing this out to everyone..

    Reply to this comment >
  • Jean Powell says:
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Please join us! Stop this cruelty in our county sides!

    Reply to this comment >
  • Ken Newton says:
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    This is a great idea and campaign. It might be far more effective in stopping foxhunting than a badly enforced hunting ban.

    Reply to this comment >

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