The Hunting Act 2004 came into force at midnight on 17th February 2005. Our relentless campaigning 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: hard to interpret and enforce, illiberal, bad for animal welfare and a waste of police resources. Thanks to our determined efforts when working with hunts that have been targeted, there have been only a handful of successful convictions. However, it cannot be right that a large section of law-abiding citizens continue to live in constant fear of malicious prosecutions.
In 2010 one hunt received 47 visits from animal rights activists armed with video cameras, aiming for prosecution. It is a terrible and vivid illustration of why things cannot ‘be left as they are’. Our campaigning has ensured that hunting remains firmly on the political agenda and the Coalition Agreement includes a commitment to a free vote in this Parliament. We need to remain vigilant in future and spot every opportunity to move our cause forward.
Thursday, 7 November 2013
The RSPCA has been accused of using the courts for "naked political campaigning" following the collapse of another criminal prosecution involving a hunt. At a hearing at Worcester Magistrates' Court today (7 November) the charity dropped a Hunting Act charge against Ledbury huntsman Will Goffe, for hunting a fox at Castlemorton Common near Malvern on 4 March this year. The prosecution was based on covert surveillance evidence collected by a second charity, the League Against Cruel Sports. This is the fourth failed RSPCA hunt prosecution this year and follows the collapse of Badgers Act cases involving the Cheshire and Cheshire Forest hunts, and a Hunting Act prosecution against the Avon Vale hunt.Read more
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: Jim Barrington, our animal welfare consultant, presents a film on hunting which should be prescribed viewing for those on both side of the argument.. The film, entitled "Foxhunting: cruel sport or natural chase," sees Jim present the case for hunting in a calm, factual manner, beginning by observing that despite the Hunting Act "this is an issue that has not been resolved".Read more
Thursday, 28 November 2013
The UK’s first ever shire horse race, held at the Countryside Alliance’s Countryside Day at Lingfield Park on 15 June, attracted headlines from around the world. Now the unique event has won the racecourse a national award. Eight heavy horses took to the track under professional jockeys for the race to raise money for the Countryside Alliance Foundation and awareness of the endangered breed.Read more
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Countryside Alliance animal welfare consultant, Jim Barrington, writes a guest editorial this week on the positive impact his hunting & animal welfare talks are having in schools and colleges: So often we hear from certain groups that the public, and especially the young, are overwhelmingly opposed to hunting and other field sports. It’s a simple message, easy to say and usually without much evidence, other than perhaps dubiously worded opinion polls. It is certainly not what our speakers are experiencing when invited to schools, colleges and universities. The point is when the full picture of wildlife management is explained and how field sports play a crucial role in that process, people get it.Read more
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Our huge thanks to those who have recently ridden at one of our racedays to raise money for our campaigning work. Last weekend Divena Chambers from the Warwickshire Hunt won the Race for Repeal at Towcester. Chasing her down were Lizzie Coombes of the Heythrop who took second place, James Jackson Stops of the Grafton third and Dreda Darling of the South Hereford fourth. Congratulations to all who took part. This was the first time we’ve run a race at Towcester and we have been invited back for a themed Countryside Day next year, bigger and better with hound parade and another Race for Repeal. Details to follow! Following the success at Towcester, the third annual Wetherby Raceday took place yesterday. The popular and hotly contested Race for Repeal, re-named the Tom Bannister Memorial Cup, was won by Pam Chadwick on Investment Expert with Vicky Easterby in second place on Kahlec and Owen Dukes in Third Place on Wee Giant.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
A charge of hunting a wild mammal with dogs has been dropped against former master of the Royal Agricultural College beagles, Libby Gilbert.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
The Countryside Day kicks off the three day Open Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday 15th November and I am very much looking forward to a sporting day in aid of the Countryside Alliance and Racing Welfare. Countryside Day has been a feature at Cheltenham since 1987. Having raised over £3 million for the Alliance and other local causes during that time it is a vitally important day in our calendar, and I thank the Committee that works so hard with the Racecourse to bring the event to life each year. It is a true celebration of racing’s place in our countryside and its links with fieldsports, which are evident through various displays throughout the day including the spine tingling hound parade where various local packs come together and canter down the finishing straight cheered all the way by the large crowd.Read more
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
In the Western Morning News on 13th November, new environment minister George Eustice MP was quoted as saying that parliamentary time is "increasingly precious" and there is a "reluctance to put a vote to the commons if it would not change the Act".
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
The Countryside Alliance’s Newcomers Week (28th October – 3rd November) proved as popular as ever, if not more so, with a number of hunts around the country taking up the initiative and running a range of activities during the scheduled week. All hunts that took part have reported an excellent turnout of Newcomers and it is estimated that the week introduced more that 400 new faces to hunting with some even signing up for a full subscription after just one day.Read more
Monday, 4 November 2013
An auction of is being conducted on the Belvoir Hunt web site, http://www.belvoir-hunt.co.uk/ where you will find all items listed with instructions of how to bid. This auction has come about because of the tragic death of Dick Winters in a road accident at a Meet at Long Clawson last December. Dick was a long-time supporter of the Belvoir and if there was a BHSC merchandise stand at an event, Dick was probably behind it. He very generously bequeathed his hunting-related possessions to the Belvoir Hunt and an auctionof these items is being held on the hunt web site.Read more