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.

 

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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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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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Take part in BHS/ Defra ragwort survey

Friday, 25 July 2014

The British Horse Society is working with Defra on new research into ragwort and horses and would be grateful for input. This issue affects equestrians from all parts of the community, so it’s vital to get the word out as far and wide as possible. Take part in the survey here or read on for a Q&A.

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Newcomers Week - 18th - 25th October

Monday, 7 July 2014

Newcomers Week - 18th - 25th October. The Countryside Alliance’s annual Newcomers Week has this year been scheduled for Saturday 18th – Saturday 25th October. The aim is to encourage as many Newcomers to go hunting as possible throughout this week and whether you organise a meet or an event of some sort please do let us know so that we can promote it on our website. We often get many people asking what hunts in their area are doing so do let us know what you are planning so that we can pass the information onto them.

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Hunting & the Community update July 2014

Monday, 7 July 2014

In July 2014 the Countryside Alliance's hunting campaign sent an update newsletter to every hunt in the country outlining news, plans and dates of interest. Read on for the newsletter.

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"The RSPCA is chasing the wrong quarry" - Telegraph opinion

Friday, 4 July 2014

On 4th July 2014 Daily Telegraph commentator Michael Henderson wrote: "The RSPCA is chasing the wrong quarry." Writing as the latest Hunting Act prosecution statistics were released, Mr Henderson explained that "Many people who enjoy hunting are not, to be frank, the kind with whom I would willingly break bread. But you don’t have to be the worst sort of woolly-back to know that police officers cannot enforce a law outlawing hunting without fear or favour, or that bad laws, drawn up for narrow doctrinal reasons, should not be on the statute book." He went on to write: "Well done, RSPCA! You have assembled an army of snoopers to observe folk in red coats doing things you dislike, and have found six rotters who have broken the law. Worth every penny......Those pennies are now drying up." Read the piece in full here. Read our piece on Hunting Act prosecution and conviction stats here.

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Just six of 56 Hunting Act convictions allied to hunts

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Following a question by former minister for farming Jim Fitzpatrick on 26 June the Ministry of Justice has released figures that show 110 people were charged under the Hunting Act in 2013 and 56 were found guilty.
However this figure is misleading, as the very great majority of cases heard under the Hunting Act do not involve hunts.
A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: “The Ministry of Justice figures show that 56 people were found guilty of offences under the Hunting Act in 2013, but just six of those people were in reality allied to a registered hunt.

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"Why does the Labour Party listen to the LACS?"

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Countryside Alliance animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington has blogged this week, asking "Why does the Labour Party listen to the LACS?" As the League turns 90, Jim recounts the political history of Labour and the League, writing: "While it’s clear that there are Labour supporters who see the anti-hunting campaign by their party as divisive and possibly costly in terms of rural votes, many do not see it that way and cling to simplistic class war-type views. It’s only when detailed questions on the validity of the Hunting Act and the party’s position in defending it are raised that the cracks show and the hypocrisy becomes apparent." Read Jim's blog in full here

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RSPCA to prioritise 'front-line work'

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The RSPCA is shedding jobs and will be restructuring in a bid to save £4.5m a year, the charity’s chairman Mike Tomlinson has revealed in a statement to Third Sector magazine click here to read
Mr Tomlinson is quoted as saying “things cannot carry on as they are” after the charity suffered a "£6.1m net cash outflow" last year. It will now prioritise its front-line animal welfare work, he told the magazine.

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Edinburgh Fringe Preview of award-winning play

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Oriel Theatre Company presents the Edinburgh Fringe preview of ‘The Tulip Tree – The Love Story of J. Enoch Powell’, in London, for two nights only before heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Rural life and its future
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