The Hunting Act 2004 came into force at midnight on 17th February 2005. 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. The Chairman of the Government’s own inquiry into Hunting with Dogs stated during the debate on the Hunting Act said: "Naturally, people ask whether we were implying that hunting is cruel... the short answer to that question is no. There was not sufficient verifiable evidence or data safely to reach views about cruelty"
Our campaign has guaranteed that the Hunting Act is now widely acknowledged to be bad law. It is no accident that many political commentators, Chief Constables, senior civil servants and a majority of the public have taken this view. The Countryside Alliance has worked tirelessly to expose the law for what it is: unjustified, hard to interpret and enforce, illiberal, 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. Our campaign has ensured that hunting remains firmly on the political agenda and the Coalition Agreement includes a commitment to a free vote in this Parliament.
The Countryside Alliance also continues to promote legal hunting and all the benefits for individuals, the environment and the rural economy that it brings.
Monday, 10 March 2014
The Pendle Forest and Craven hunt and readers of the Yorkshire Post have raised £4000 for the flooded farmers in Somerset. Jo Foster asked readers of her weekly Yorkshire Post Saturday column, 'Over the stable door' to help the hunt raise £1000 to send to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute specifically to aid with the long term affects of the floods on those involved in the farming industry. She hoped within two weeks a team effort could see the target reached.Read more
Friday, 7 March 2014
On 26th March the Four Burrow Hunt and the Countryside Alliance present the Cornwall Auction of Promises which will be held at Scorrier House, Redruth at 7.30pm. Available lots range from practical lots such as bales of haylage and having your horse's teeth rasped to more exotic lots including a Hamish Mackie sculpture, lunch or dinner at The Ivy, hunting in New Zealand, shooting at Stowell Park or a Daniel Crane original of the Four Burrow. Also on offer in the 93 lot auction are a Highgrove hamper, golf at Bowood, family membership of the Fox-Pitt evening club, woodock shooting at Philleigh, fishing on the River Wharfe and a tour of Bolton Abbey Estate, a week in South Carolina where game will include doves, boar, deer and an evening's raccoon hunting, a morning on the gallops and breakfast with Andrew Balding, a day with Mary King and also the cap for two to hunt with one of many packs of foxhounds including the Beaufort, the Cotswold, the Quorn, the North Cornwall, the Old Berks, and the Warwickshire. Read on for the full list of lots available. For information please contact Alison on email@example.com:Read more
Thursday, 6 March 2014
WILTON HUNT POINT-TO-POINT HORSE RACING - A GREAT DAY OUT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. Bring a picnic, enjoy the atmosphere, exciting racing, hound parade and lovely views. The event will be held on Saturday March 22nd at Milborne St Andrew (nearest postcode: DT11 0JN Grid Ref: SY81679692) (off the A354 Blandford/Dorchester road). First Race 12.30 - a charity flat race (11 furlongs) for the local Air Ambulances. Hound Parade at 1pm, BAR - TRADE STANDS - REFRESHMENTS - BOOKMAKERS. Car parks £25 and £20 - single person reduction available.Read more
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: In the 14 months since the RSPCA’s extraordinary prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt it has rarely been out of the headlines. The Alliance took the lead in raising concerns about the methods and motivations for its prosecutions, but many others have followed. Last week we met Stephen Wooler who has been commissioned by the RSPCA Council to carry out a review of the RSPCA’s prosecution function as a result of all the media scrutiny. We have submitted our views to him, which we will publish in due course. If you have been involved in an RSPCA prosecution and would like to respond to the review all the details and a link to the consultation form can be found here.Read more
Monday, 27 January 2014
The fifth annual Ascot Country Fair Race Day will be held on Sunday 30th March. As ever, there will be a Race for Repeal, to be contested by well known figures from hunting fields across England - please read on to find out who is riding and to sponsor his efforts.Read more
Monday, 3 March 2014
Sporting artist Daniel Crane will be launching his new 'Belvoir Collection', a select number of original works that feature scenes from hand-picked Belvoir meets, at an exclusive exhibition taking place in Lincolnshire on 22nd and 23rd March 2014. Tickets are limited and must be pre-booked so book now!Read more
Thursday, 27 February 2014
The Countryside Alliance's Facebook page is a popular page worldwide, as evidenced by the international support we received for the hundreds of photos we posted of Boxing Day meets. This week we posted a stunning shot from 2004 of the Mid-Devon with then-huntsman Guy Allman and his hounds looking out on a stunning Dartmoor landscape. Guy now hunts hounds in the US, but visited our page and left a message naming each hound left to right. We know there are many more such examples, but this is one such story generated by social media showing the bond between huntsman and hounds and the great heritage of hunting.Read more
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
On Tuesday 25th February the Daily Telegraph reported: "The Chief Executive of the RSPCA has left his position at the charity over health concerns.....His short tenure was marked by crisis including the organisation facing questions from the Charity Commission over whether the RSPCA's prosecutions had become "political." There was also concern after he suggested farmers involved in the badger cull should be named and shamed. Read the article in full here. Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns, Tim Bonner, said: “We do not comment on individual appointments, but we do hope that this is a signal that the RSPCA is going to focus on the laudable work it has traditionally undertaken in promoting animal welfare rather than using charitable donations for pursuing a political agenda.”Read more