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.
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
On Wednesday 1st October The Times ran a story with the headline: "Stop pursuing hunts and cruelty cases, RSPCA told". The article by Legal Editor Frances Gibb detailed the findings of the independent review carried out into the Society's prosecutions, and reported that the RSPCA "has evolved largely “outside the mainstream criminal justice system” and operates in an “unstructured and haphazard environment........ Stephen Wooler, the report’s author and a former CPS chief inspector, concludes that it should continue its “substantial and important role” in enforcing animal welfare legislation. Without change, it will be “vulnerable to those with a narrow agenda not founded on legitimate concern”, he warns." Read the piece in full here (subscription website)
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
The Countryside Alliance welcomes the arrival of the long-awaited report into the RSPCA’s prosecution strategy by Stephen Wooler, former CPS chief inspector. The report was commissioned in December 2013. Tim Bonner, director of campaigns for the Countryside Alliance said: “Stephen Wooler’s report vindicates our position and accepts nearly every concern that we raised in relation to RSPCA prosecutions.Read more
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
The Countryside Alliance's Autumn magazine, available now, carries a feature by Henrietta Rutgers looking at the exemplary rural education model in place at the Elms School near Malvern in Worcestershire. The school has a kitchen garden tended by pupils, hunting take place during the season with Countryside Alliance ties awarded as "colours", and many youngsters show farm animals to give them experience of husbandry and competition. Read the piece - "Hunting & farming on the curriculum - yes please!" here.
Monday, 29 September 2014
The Countryside Alliance held its fringe on wildlife management at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham on Monday 29th September. The panel, chaired by Johnny Heald of polling company ORB International, included Lord de Mauley, Defra minister, Neil Parish MP, Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, former Environment Secretary the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP and our own Tim Bonner.Read more
Thursday, 25 September 2014
The iconic Countryside Day at Cheltenham will take place on Friday 14th November, kicking off the three day Open meeting. You have a chance to win tickets for you and a guest to enjoy Countryside Day at The Open, thanks to Cheltenham Racecourse. Enjoy a three course buffet lunch and afternoon tea while you watch the action from the track. Simply answer the below question to be entered into a draw:
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
The Countryside Alliance's Winter 2014 magazine is now in production and we are inviting terrier owners to contribute to a celebration feature on the breed for the issue.Please send a photograph of your terrier (1MB minimum size) along with your terrier's name and a short anecdote about him or her (no more than 100 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best will be selected for a feature in our magazine.Email your photo and story by 2pm on Thursday 2nd October. Your photo may well also be used on our website and social media channels. Thank you.
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
In our Autumn 2014 magazine, as part of our Great War commemoration strand "The Countryside in War," Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner explains the enduring appeal of Siegfried Sassoon's classic work "Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man". In his article Tim writes that Sassoon is "brilliant on the strange, but common, contradiction of loving both the fox and the hunting of it..... it is perfectly possible to create a warm, even loving, portrayal of a way of life whilst also understanding its limitations and oddities." Click here to read the article.Read more
Thursday, 18 September 2014
To commemorate the centenary of the Great War the Countryside Alliance's magazine will, over the next four years, include articles in a series entitled "The Countryside in War." First in this series is a piece on the horses used in the great war, the numbers, the logistics and the fears of the men who cared for them. Click here to read the piece, which begins with this quote from HM the King written in a letter to Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig: "It was a pleasure to me to find from the admirable condition of the horses and mules of the various units I inspected that the new Armies fully uphold our national reputation as good horse-masters." (NB in the print version received by members there is a printing error curtailing this article. This online version is correct.)
Tuesday, 16 September 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
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
With Autumn upon us maybe you are looking for new things to try with your horse to banish those end of summer blues, so why not give hunting a go? If you think it looks like fun and would like to try it then our Hunting Newcomers Week running from 18th - 25th October could be the perfect place for you to start. You do not need any special kit or clothes to take part and will be guided by an experienced hunt follower who will be on hand to answer any of your questions.Read more