The Countryside Alliance fought a long and successful campaign to expose the damage the Act 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.
Friday, 30 January 2015
Last weekend's animal rights attack that left Tedworth Huntsman Mike Lane in hospital has been met with an outpouring of condemnation from all sides of the hunting argument and has been covered widely by the media. The attack is subject to a Police investigation, but a film has emerged showing part of the attack which ended with Mike Lane on the ground being kicked unconscious.Read more
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
On Wednesday 28th January the Western Daily Press reported: "A West Country huntmaster was knocked unconscious in a vicious attack by masked hunt saboteurs armed with iron bars, the Western Daily Press can reveal. Police in Wiltshire are investigating the incident, which happened near the village of Everleigh, near Amesbury, at the end of a fractious day of confrontations between sabs and the Tedworth Hunt on Saturday. Officers called to the incident ended up giving first aid to the huntsman, Mike Lane, before paramedics arrived. He was rushed to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and kept in overnight with head injuries, which included concussion and several broken teeth." Mike tells the paper: “I slipped over and on the ground one of them kicked me in the head twice and knocked me out. ....They were swinging iron bars on lengths of rope at one stage." Read the full story, including a quote from the Countryside Alliance, here.Read more
Monday, 26 January 2015
Hunting with hounds has dominated news stories about animal welfare for decades, yet a more fundamental question about our wildlife is rarely asked. Consequently, this debate misses a crucial stage – one that requires an answer before we can move on to discuss hunting or indeed any of the other methods of control. In this instance it is a query aimed more at those opposed to hunting rather than those in favour of it. The question is this: Is the concept of managing wildlife acceptable?Read more
Friday, 23 January 2015
Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes: The sordid details of the case against Paul Whitehead and Ted Potter of the Lunesdale Hunt, which was thrown out on the first day of trial on Wednesday, serve to remind us exactly what a mess the Hunting Act is in. The long hours of League Against Cruel Sports 'covert surveillance' carried out by a strange mixture of hunt sabs and ex policemen. Police interviews with the defendants where the video did not work and no meaningful allegation was put to them. An extraordinary decision by the CPS to bring a prosecution, presumably under intense and improper pressure from LACS. The key LACS witness statement, which 'identified' the huntsman solely on the basis that he was 'close to the hounds', and at one point claimed a rock rolling down the mountain was a fox.Read more
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
A court case against two members of the Lunesdale hunt collapsed today (21 January), at York Magistrates Court, on the first day of a planned two-day trial.Terrence “Ted” Potter, 63, of Orton, Penrith and Paul Whitehead, 53, of Sedbergh, had each been accused of one charge of hunting a wild mammal with a dog on 18 February 2014, at Holly Platt Farm in Ingleton. But, following an application by the Lunesdale’s lawyer Stephen Welford, the magistrates ruled there was no case to answer as there was no evidence that either man was even present on the day in question.Read more
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
On 12th January 2014 former Countryside Alliance Chair and Labour MP for Vauxhall, Kate Hoey, wrote an article for The Spectator entitled: "Why Labour needs to step back from the hunting debate and look at the facts". In the article Kate wrote: .."those who were instrumental in drafting the Hunting Act now blame everyone else for its failings and seek more parliamentary time to fix the unfixable." Read the article in full here.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
In conjunction with the new 2014/15 hunting season The Countryside Alliance, generously supported by Pol Roger Champagne are running a new competition. We would like you to send in your photographs (open to amateurs only) of the most humorous tumble that you manage to capture on camera this season, to celebrate the brave souls that go hunting and the trusty steeds that carry them.Read more
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
We have launched a new bespoke metal badge to mark ten years since the enforcement of the Hunting Act 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. The tenth anniversary of enforcement is 18th February so please buy one and wear it with pride on the day.
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
The Countryside Alliance has secured separate standards for hounds kept in packs in Wales and a fairer deal for working dogs. New Breeding of Dogs regulations (Wales) set 14 standards that breeders are expected to comply with which will overhaul the way they are expected to work. The new Breeding of Dogs regulations (Wales) received the approval of most Assembly Members during Wednesday’s debate, despite a minority refusing to support, stating that they “did not go far enough”. The Alliance has worked tirelessly on the campaign since 2008 setting out a clear message at the Assembly raising awareness of the difference between dogs kept for commercial breeding purposes and working dogs. This has been recognised by Welsh Government with the support of several Assembly Members voicing our concerns and we will see working dogs being recognised within the guidelines and particularly, a separate set of guidelines for dogs kept as packs.Read more
Monday, 3 November 2014
Patrick Martin has decided to hang up his boots as Professional Huntsman of the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase after 23 great seasons (1992-2015): according to the latest MFHA records he is the sixth longest serving huntsman currently hunting hounds. He is pictured here at his final Opening Meet as Huntsman. A testimonial fund has been set up for Patrick - read on for more.Read more