COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

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Hunting

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.

 

Campaigns - Hunting:

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Times comment: "Hunting foxes is better than snaring or poisoning them"

Monday, 18 August 2014

On Saturday 16th August 2014 The Times published a comment piece by Ross Clark entitled: "Hunting foxes is better than snaring or poisoning them." Mr Clark opened with: "Cameron is looking weak. He has promised a free vote before" and then detailed measures he felt Cameron had got right for the "landed interest", including Single Farm Payment and the Marine and Coastal Access Act. He wrote  "As you may have gathered from the above I am not a huge fan of the landed interest......But the issue of hunting is different. There never has been convincing evidence that foxes suffer abnormally from being hunted, at least no more than do the animals they themselves hunt. The ban did nothing to alleviate the real forms of cruelty towards foxes: the snaring, the poisoning and the trapping. What it did do is show up its own absurdity: does it really make the slightest difference to a fox whether he is pursued by two dogs or three?" Mr Clark ended by observing that a free vote on the Hunting Act woudl be a "piece of red meat that, if I were prime minister, I would think it well worth throwing to a once-loyal band of supporters.´╗┐" Read in full here (subscription).

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Seavington hunting weekend a great success

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

On the 9th and 10th August the Seavington Hunt held a novice hunting weekend for newcomers to hunting and those wanting to learn a bit more about it.
A total of 15 riders took part, bringing their own horses and staying overnight to participate in the two day course. 12 of the 15 participants have never hunted before and nor have their horses so it was a learning curve for all concerned.

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Saboteur charged with assault and harassment of hunt employee

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

An anti-fox hunting activist, who targets the Flint and Denbigh hunt has been charged with aggravated trespass, assault and harassment of a hunt employee. She has also been given a restraining order, forbidding her from contacting the man.
The charges relate to an incident on 28 January and footage that Rhyl-based Judi Hewitt took and posted onto YouTube of the hunt’s countryman Rob Smith using a terrier to flush a fox from underground to a waiting gun, in accordance with the Hunting Act. She can be heard screaming and trying to stop Mr Smith from doing his job. She is also alleged to have made threats against Mr Smith on social media.

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Hunting Newcomers Week 18-25 October

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

CALLING ALL HUNTS! With the harvest underway and many hunts starting mounted hound exercise, it will not be long before Autumn Hunting and Opening Meets are upon us. This is a timely reminder that we will be running our annual Newcomers Week from the 18th - 25th October and therefore we are encouraging as many hunts as possible to organise a meet and/or event during that week, specifically tailored for those people that are new to hunting.

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Credit: Mark Webb Photographer

RSPCA reported to be dropping hunt prosecution policy

Sunday, 27 July 2014

On Sunday 27th July 2014 the Sunday Times front page carried a story headlined 'RSPCA to stop chasing hunts after backlash.' This story arose from the soon-to-be-published Wooler review into the Society's prosecutions policy which was launched last year and to which the Countryside Alliance contributed. The article quoted Alliance head of campaigns Tim Bonner who has long said, and told the review head Stephen Wooler, that the RSPCA cannot be a political campaigner yet maintain objectivity in prosecutions. Read the article on the Sunday Times website (which has a paywall) here. The Telegraph subsequently picked up on the story and quoted the RSPCA as saying the change would probably brought in "within months". Clive Aslet, Editor at Large of Country Life, then wrote about the issue in the Telegraph, saying that "years of hounding the innocent" are over.

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Jim Barrington blogs "It's good to talk"

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Countryside Alliance animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington is never a man to shy away from a hunting debate as he explains in his latest blog "It's good to talk." Jim begins his commentary: It’s not very often I find myself agreeing with the League Against Cruel Sports on the subject of hunting with hounds. So when a press release stated, “We believe those who want to use animals for cruel sports should be prepared to debate why in public” I can certainly go along with the spirit of that comment, even if we disagree on what may constitute a cruel sport....." Read the blog in full here.

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25th May 2015 - Alliance fundraiser at Stratford upon Avon Racecourse

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Countryside Alliance is hoping to run a fundraising event at Stratford Racecourse on this date. More information to follow.

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Report on RSPCA "zealots" putting down family cat

Sunday, 10 August 2014

On Sunday 12th August the Sunday Times reported: "The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has barred the RSPCA from prosecuting a family after it had seized their cat and had it put down against their wishes because the cat’s hair was deemed too long and it was too thin. It is the second time recently that the state has intervened in a case brought by the charity. The RSPCA has attracted widespread criticism for its overzealous approach to some of its animal welfare cases. The charity threatened Richard and Samantha Byrnes with prison during an interview to discuss how their cat Claude should be put down." Read the full article "RSPCA zealots put down family cat for long hair" on the Sunday Times subscription website here. This prompted The Spectator's Melissa Kite to re-issue her 2013 article "Does the RSPCA think it's the FBI?

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Barry Todhunter's testimonial presentation

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Blencathra legend Barry Todhunter celebrated his first 40 years with the pack at a testimonial event at Threlkeld Cricket Club in late July. Michael Thompson, Master of the Blencathra, reports back following our feature article on Barry in our Summer magazine. Michael writes: "We had an extremely good presentation day last Sunday, with 170 people attending the day at Threlkeld Cricket Club in glorious weather. Barry received :-

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The Festival of Hunting - Georgie Archer's account

Friday, 25 July 2014

Georgie Archer´╗┐, Young Countryside Writer competition winner and enthusiastic young subscriber to the Golden Valley, was invited by us to be our roving reporter at the Festival of Hunting. Here is Georgie's account of her day: After an early start and a very long but exciting journey; my mum, my sister (Maddie) and I arrived to an already bustling showground with hound and horse showing already well under way. The traffic had been heavy on the way there, so we were a little later than we would have liked to have been. 

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