Home > false alibi > Trail Of Lies – Deconstructing & Exposing The Hunters False Alibi

16th December 2015

Trail Of Lies – Deconstructing & Exposing The Hunters False Alibi

"Trail Hunting in general is nothing more than a post-hunting ban creation to provide a false alibi against accusations of illegal hunting" - International Fund for Animal Welfare

Hounds Off Founder, Joe Hashman, reports from London.

Trail Of Lies is a report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) which deconstructs then exposes Trail Hunting as the false alibi which many of us have always believed it to be. It was an honour to speak at the launch of Trail Of Lies yesterday in Westminster, on behalf of associates, friends and colleagues who have spent much of the last decade gathering the data and evidence upon which this report is based.

Trail Of Lies provides critical information which unveils the truth behind the false alibi of Trail Hunting and includes recommendations to solve the problem of enforcing the Hunting Act.

Here’s what I said:

The International Fund for Animal Welfare has run an Enforcement Team since the Hunting Act came into effect in 2005. During that time, in partnership with the police, RSPCA and League Against Cruel Sports, we’ve dealt effectively with attempts by the hare coursing community to rename and reinvent their pastime of choice in a way which was intended to circumvent the law. In fact, by working with our aforementioned partners, together we’ve eradicated organised club coursing from the British Isles.

The same can’t be said of fox, deer, hare and mink hunting with hounds and this is the source of great regret within our Enforcement Team. For many outside of the hunting bubble it’s hard to understand how and why these deathsports continue. The reasons are complicated, and one of them is the false alibi of Trail Hunting.

Don’t forget that the hunting community pledged to defy the Hunting Act even before it was passed. This same community vows to retain and defend the infrastructure of hunting so that, if they ever succeed in repealing the Act, full-on deathsports can resume seamlessly and without delay. Trail Hunting is a vital part of their strategy to keep hunting live quarry with hounds viable while actively degrading the Hunting Act and those who seek to enforce it, be they law enforcement agencies or NGOs such as IFAW.

The Enforcement Team has evidenced over ten years of cynical subterfuge and false alibis by hunts the length and breadth of Britain; hunts who we suspect have used Trail Hunting to pretend to be doing one thing while actively doing another.

Many of us believe that hope for a compassionate future lies in the hands of the younger generation – that the Hunting Act enshrines the will of the people but, until hunting and killing wild mammals with dogs becomes socially unacceptable, there will always be a problem. We believe our opponents know this too. That’s why Trail Hunting is so useful to them. It allows bloodsports to continue with a veneer of respectability and provides a readymade excuse if they get sussed out.

One of the changes which the Enforcement Team have noted over the last decade is that many Hunts split their day. They have a jolly ride until 2.30 or 3 o’clock and then, when folk who hunt to ride have mostly exhausted themselves and gone home, for the hard core who ride to hunt the real and illegal business begins.

Well-known in hunting circles is a phenomenon called the “3 o’clock fox”. Around this time on a winters day, atmospheric changes often make the scent left by wild animals stronger and, of coarse, from the angle of a Wildlife Crime Investigator, daylight starts fading which makes evidence gathering more difficult. We see it as no coincidence that this is frequently when the gloves come off and the business of hunting with hounds gets serious.

Integral to the continuity of deathsports is an ongoing supply of willing participants. A vital part of the infrastructure which traditionally leads horse loving youngsters into the dark world of killing-for-fun are the Pony Clubs. Most Pony Clubs are linked with mounted hunts and, so long as these hunts claim to be Trail Hunting within the law, they’re able to hoodwink many impressionable youngsters (and their parents) about their real intent. With a range of horse-related activities on offer which seem a million miles from the ritualised sacrifice of a fox, hare or deer, Pony Clubs provide a perfect gateway for introducing children into the ways of the Hunt.

Remember, Trail Hunting was invented post-Ban and is not even recognised by the associations which administer genuine non live animal hunting. In general, it’s nothing more than a charade which provides a perfect cover story for grooming the young and the gullible, especially when days are tailored to enhance the illusion and the messaging from respectable adults, supporters clubs, hunts themselves and their representative organisations all conspire to convince impressionable young minds that Trail Hunting is legitimate.

By the time the awful truth dawns it is seen as no longer awful. To the next generation of deathsports enthusiasts, indoctrinated into a world of false alibis, blind eyes and rural lies, wild mammals which are illegally hunted and killed may no longer be empathised with; reduced, instead to objects of amusement; to be besmirched and abused, accidentally or accidentally-on-purpose, depending on who’s looking or asking.

And so the hunting community can unite in defiance of a law they despise. In doing so, if they can misrepresent their dishonest intentions to the outside world or to a court of law and be celebrated as freedom fighters by their cock-snooking supporters and peers, they will. We’ve seen it time and time again.

Trail Of Lies is a report which deconstructs then exposes Trail Hunting as the false alibi which the IFAW Enforcement Team has long observed it to be. As a whistle-blowing document, we welcome it.

On a personal level I’d like to thank IFAW, and especially Jordi Casamitjana, for having the vision to produce Trail Of Lies, as well as acknowledging the important work of Wildlife Crime Investigators out in the field. Their dogged determination in difficult and often dangerous conditions has been essential to the production of this Report.

I hope and pray that Trail Of Lies is used wisely, and that IFAW continues to invest time and resources into the Enforcement Team so we can continue to monitor the effectiveness, or not, of the Hunting Act in England and Wales for another ten years at least.

© Joe Hashman

Read the summary report, Uncovering The Trail Of Lies here


Read the full Trail Of Lies report here


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13 Comments | Leave a comment

  • MaryAlice Pollard (@CornwallsVoice) says:
    Posted December 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    We need to get the hounds off of our fields, rail lines ( keeping the hounds from being victims of accidents too ) & roads full stop. Not only for the protection of our wildlife, but for the protection of domestic pets that too often end up victims to this disgusting, vile and most cruel pastime taken up by those who are disrespectful of our countryside and the laws !

    Reply to this comment >
    • Don Smith says:
      Posted June 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Yes! It’s time dodgy Dave enforced the law relating to fox hunting. His cronies are getting away with it. The law is the law and should be enforced without fear or favour.

      Reply to this comment >
  • Maggie Gothard says:
    Posted December 18, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Yes indeed, a trailblazing exposé of the indoctrination of children into this despicable behaviour and the attitudes that accompany it. I really hope this document can make a difference, particularly to younger generations, many of whom seem to genuinely care about our wildlife.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Margaret stephenson says:
    Posted June 12, 2016 at 10:46 am

    It was wrong of the goverment to leave loop holes for these people to persue there brutal so called sport.a wide spread ban on all hunting poor animals should be inforced now,its what the public have always wanted .these so called hunting people care nothing for the dogs or horses never mind the defences animal they hunt, and huge punishments imposed on offenders.

    Reply to this comment >
    • MaryAlice Pollard (@CornwallsVoice) says:
      Posted June 14, 2016 at 8:01 am

      I cannot add to the comments made – I firmly agree !!

      Reply to this comment >
  • Marilyn O'Loughlin says:
    Posted June 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Keep your hands off our wildlife. You may not like wildlife but I do and I enjoy seeing these creatures alive not ripped apart for your sick perversions.

    Reply to this comment >
  • Dave Yewdall says:
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 4:57 am

    How come that these scumbags ç an stick 2 fingers up at the law and continue
    To do as they please when the majority
    Want to see it banned which it is supposed to be with the police in most cases failing to take any action .Going off the subject what would happen if the law abiding citizens said enough is enough we are not going to pay council tax and road fund tax the authoririetys would soon have us in coure
    Ànd criminlised with out a second thought
    Most of us are aware that there is a law for us. BUT. non for them they treat the law with impunity yet we would get a fine or I’m
    Prison mentioned for failure to pay our council tax or road tax the police would be quick to act.yet fail to take action against
    The hunters another thing what is wrong as well is if your dog gets attacked which is all to common these days the police won’t act if dog sets upon dog this usually happens when owners let thier dogs of the lead
    In public places but somme irresponsible
    Owner let’s is or her dog attack your and walk away and leaves the distressed
    Owner to pick up the the vets bill if thier dog survives the point I am making is this
    The dog is my propose like my car bike
    House my garden ornaments and if some one wishes to scratch my car or steal the bike then they have committed an offence
    So therefore what is the difference in law to my dog 9 it’s still my property just the same as my car or bike it does not matter what it is even someone throwing a brick threw
    Your house window or greenhouse for that matter it’s my property like my dog or car
    And I would expect to be paid recompense
    For any damage what would happen if I said I am a responsible dog owner I never
    Let it off the lead. And clear any mess up it may do on the footpath but I said that I will not have my dog chipped then I would be
    Criminalised as I would be breaking the law
    As far as I am concerned the dog belongs to me yet in law it as no rites if it fouled the pavement I would get fined as it’s breaking the law if I don’t pick it up in a doggy bag or whatever the law is obviously a are hole like the ones who make it so there fore why do the authorities fail to act in the case of the
    Fox hunters the reason us they are all in the a ry outstanding members of society bracket Masons Rotary club members
    Some being Dr’s Dentists Solicitors barristers Judges Politicians Magistrates
    And the usual butcher baker and candle stick maker all scratching one and others backs and nods and winks and quIer
    Hand shakes and pinny with thier trouser leg up including Clergymen as can be
    Seen generally up standing members of the more elite society or at least they think they are.

    Reply to this comment >
    • Leigh says:
      Posted June 09, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      What an illiterate load of nonsense. I am against hunting etc, but if you are going to make a statement about it, at least check your spelling and make sure you can construct a sentence that makes sense. Ever wondered why your point of view gets ignored? Because you can’t even take the time to make your point in a clear, concise and EDUCATED manner.

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      • HoundsOff says:
        Posted June 10, 2017 at 11:28 pm


        Reply to this comment >
      • Dorothy McMahon says:
        Posted February 11, 2018 at 12:12 pm

        Why can’t you applaude the intent of this post instead of criticising it for spelling mistakes. Is this because you are one of the elite bloodthisty scumbags involved in this ‘sport’?

        Reply to this comment >
  • Dorothy McMahon says:
    Posted February 11, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Why can’t you applaude the intent of this post instead of criticising it for spelling mistakes. Is this because you are one of the elite bloodthisty scumbags involved in this ‘sport’?
    At the very least you are an etremely rude uncaring and offensive prat.

    Reply to this comment >
    • Leigh says:
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      If you actually read my comment with any amount of comprehension, you would of seen that I do agree with the ban on fox hunting. I was simply and quite accurately making apoint about well constructed statements. But it is clear that even a well constructed, well spelt piece of text is still not enoigh for some illiterate parties. Learn to read and to write is all i was saying.

      Reply to this comment >
      • Leigh says:
        Posted February 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm

        “Enough”appologies for the fat fingers there

        Reply to this comment >

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