The Countryside Alliance fought a long and successful campaign to expose the damage the Hunting Act 2004 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, 15 April 2015
The main parties have now launched their manifestos ahead of the General Election on 7th May. We bring you the main points from each one relating to a key part of our own manifesto - wildlife management. Read our own manifesto chapter on wildlife management here.Read more
Wednesday, 1 April 2015
The Newmarket Countryside Alliance Race Day will take place this year on Thursday 25th June on the stunning July Course. One of the main spectacles of the day is the Race for Repeal which is open to all Masters, Hunt Staff and subscribers to packs in the UK, giving an unique opportunity to represent your Hunt at Newmarket The race is run over eight furlongs and is the first race of the day, followed by lunch in the Moorstyle Marquee opposite the finishing post. If you would like to take part in the race, please could you contact William Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details of qualifications and the terms of riding. Please contact him by Tuesday 14th April.
Thursday, 19 March 2015
Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes: "Yesterday the RSPCA dropped its last outstanding case involving a hunt when it discontinued a Hunting Act prosecution involving Will Bryer, Master and Huntsman of the Cattistock Hunt. There is no need to linger on the RSPCA's tortuous explanation for its U-turn other than to note that it should be no surprise to any prosecutor that it might have to prove its case.Read more
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
The RSPCA has today dropped its last prosecution of a hunt. Will Bryer, master and huntsman of the Cattistock hunt in Dorset had been charged with one offence of hunting a fox with dogs, alleged to have taken place on 2 December 2014. However, in advance of a hearing due to take place at Weymouth Magistrates Court on Friday (20 March) the RSPCA has written to Mr Bryer’s solicitor Jamie Foster, of Foster Griffin, stating it will not be pursuing the prosecution as there is no evidence on which they could legitimately continue.Read more
Monday, 2 March 2015
The Countryside Alliance has launched a new campaign asking rural voters to contact their Parliamentary candidates ahead of the General Election on 7th May. Take part here. This online e-lobby reads: "Congratulations on your selection. As a voter in your constituency I wanted to draw your attention to Countryside Alliance's General Election Manifesto and ask you whether you are supportive of the Alliance's manifesto and its campaigns." Please let us know the feedback you get from your candidates - contact email@example.com. You can download our General Election Manifesto, which includes a section on wildlife management, here.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.
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
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
Horse & Hound reports: The names of the 10 huntsmen from packs from all areas of the country that will take part in a prestigious hornblowing competition have now been revealed. They will be competing at the Horn & Hound Ball — a celebration of hunting — at Cheltenham racecourse on 25 April. The winner will be presented with the Dorian Williams Horse & Hound Trophy, which was first awarded in 1952. The huntsmen — some amateur and some professional — will also be competing to win an engraved Henry Keat hunting horn, sponsored by Horse & Hound. The finalists — who will be asked to blow “gone away” and “going home” — will be judged by Alastair Jackson and Nigel Peel MFH, master and huntsman of the North Cotswold.Read more
Thursday, 2 April 2015
Last week hundreds of friends of the late Clarissa Dickson Wright gathered at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, to celebrate and remember a life well lived. The service featured readings from several good friends, including farmers Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm in Cumbria and Jan McCourt of Northfield Farm in Rutland and local food champion Henrietta Green - Clarissa's love of food and fieldsports shone through. A particular high point occurred when the excellent St Bride's choir delivered, poker faced, an arrangement of "Rasputin", the song Clarissa had chosen on Desert Island Discs and danced to at her 60th birthday party. It was a service as fun and lively as Clarissa herself, and we will continue our work to ensure her legacy.
Thursday, 26 March 2015
Countryside Alliance Campaigns Director Tim Bonner has written for the Open Democracy website. In "Lies, damn lies and hunting polls" Tim observes that "Whether the public support or oppose the hunting ban seems to depend very much on which question is asked, and who's asking the question." Read the article in full here.