The Countryside Alliance fought a long and successful campaign to expose the damage the Hunting Act 2004 would do to the rural economy, traditions and local communities without any evidence to justify it on grounds of animal welfare.
Our campaign has guaranteed that although the Hunting Act came into force on 17th February 2005 it is now widely acknowledged to be bad law. It is no accident that the law has been exposed for what it is: bad for the rural economy, bad for rural communities, bad for animal welfare and a waste of police resources.
Thanks to our determined efforts working with hunts the vast majority have managed to adapt to the legislation whilst continuing to offer a legal wildlife management service and retain the support necessary to sustain the infrastructure of hunting and the jobs that go with it.
There have been only a handful of successful convictions under the Hunting Act involving hunts. Over 97% of convictions under the Act relate to casual hunting or ‘poaching’. However, it cannot be right that a large section of law-abiding citizens continue to be targeted by animal rights groups and forced live in fear of malicious prosecution. The Countryside Alliance continues to oppose the Hunting Act and promote legal hunting for all the benefits to individuals, the environment and the rural economy that it brings.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
The Countryside Alliance has teamed up with Country Life magazine to find "Britain's Best Sporting Pub". This competition aims to celebrate traditional pubs such as coaching inns The Buccleuch Arms at Melrose, the Swan at Tarporley and Jamaica Inn at Launceston or medieval establishments including the Lord Crewe in the Durham uplands, central to shooting at Blanchland Moor. All have a long history of support for their local hunts or shoots. Support for the local community is the driving factor, a good example of which is the Cresselly Arms in West Wales (which is seasonal and supports the cricket team in the summer). We have all been to a pub after a day in the field where a warm welcome awaits and it is a well-established and comforting part of our rural heritage.Read more
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: Tomorrow the Government was due to introduce amendments to the Hunting Act under a free vote, which would have represented a significant improvement. The amendments would have removed the arbitrary two dog limit in exempt hunting, making it legal to flush and shoot foxes using packs of hounds. If the changes had been passed it would have been legal to manage foxes and some other wild mammals using packs of hounds representing a significant improvement for many farmers and hunts, whilst moving the law into line with Scotland. The requirement to take reasonable steps to shoot would, however, have remained.Read more
Monday, 13 July 2015
New polling published in advance of the vote on amending the Hunting Act in the House of Commons on Wednesday shows that only two in five people (40%) believe that hunting should remain a criminal offence. The same number (40%) believe that the Hunting Act should either be amended or scrapped. Two-thirds (68%) think that farmers should be allowed to cull foxes to protect livestock. The research, carried out by ORB for the Countryside Alliance, is based on interviews with 2058 people carried out from 10th – 12th July.Read more
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
The Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management (VAWM) commissioned a new book, The Facts of Rural Life, to address a number of concerns it has on the management of wildlife in the countryside. The book is now available for £10 and addresses concerns such as:Read more
Sunday, 1 March 2015
Even though anti-hunt activists are very small in number, if you are targeted it can be a frightening and unpleasant experience. With the explosion of social media such as Facebook and Twitter has come the rise of internet bullying and therefore this advice maybe useful for anyone experiencing such action.Read more
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Our bespoke metal badge was launched in February to mark ten years since the enforcement of the Hunting Act (18th February 2015.) This badge is a celebration of hunting and signifies the strength of this great tradition that will hopefully continue to thrive for many more years to come. You can buy your badge here, priced £5.
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Solicitor Advocate Jamie Foster writes in the Western Morning News: "Pandemonium has broken out amongst otherwise mildly hysterical animal rights organisations such as the League Against Cruel Sports and Brian May’s ‘Save Me’. Despite yesterday’s hiccup, prompted by the Scottish Nationalists decision to vote on an issue that has nothing to do with them, MPs are eventually going to be given the opportunity to decide if they wish to amend the Hunting Act to reduce some of its worst excesses." Read "Jamie Foster on the real issues at stake in the hunting debate" here.
Tuesday, 14 July 2015
Breaking news - it has been reported that tomorrow's expected vote on hunting has been pulled. The Spectator reports: "The government has confirmed that it is pulling tomorrow’s vote on the relaxation of the hunting ban. A Downing Street source is frank about why they are doing this, the vote would be lost with the SNP voting against and so there’s not much point in having it. Indeed, even the Countryside Alliance accepts that no good would come from pressing on." Read more here.
Monday, 13 July 2015
In The Times on Monday 13th July a report by Chief Political Correspondent Michael Savage reported: "Pro-hunting MPs will settle for relaxing the law. Pro-hunting Conservatives have vowed to drop their agitating to scrap the hunting ban by 2020 if MPs vote to relax the law this week. Farmers would be able to use a full pack of hounds to flush out foxes — but not kill them — under a plan to be put to a vote on Wednesday. The rule is already in place in Scotland, but only two dogs can currently be used in England and Wales. The fox is then shot. ........Tim Farron, the leadership favourite whose Westmorland & Lonsdale seat is home to sheep farming, said in May that he “would like to see the hunting act replaced with a more comprehensive animal welfare bill which also protects the right of farmers to protect their livestock”. He has not confirmed how he will vote on Wednesday. One Conservative MP said that his party saw Wednesday’s vote “as an opportunity to bury the Liberal Democrats as a force in rural constituencies”. “If the Liberal Democrats vote against these changes, we won’t be letting anyone forget it,” he said. Even if MPs do vote to allow a full pack of hounds to be used to flush out a fox, Labour and Lib Dem peers could hold up the reforms for months." Read the piece in full here (it is behind a paywall).
Thursday, 9 July 2015
Thursday 9th July - Defra reports: "A small number of technical amendments to the Hunting Act have been proposed to more closely align legislation in England and Wales with that in Scotland, while maintaining safeguards. The amendments to the Act would enable farmers and gamekeepers to make a judgement, based on the terrain and other circumstances, to use more than two dogs to flush out and stalk wild animals for effective and humane shooting as part of the existing exemption in the Act that allows for pest control.Read more