Over quarter of a million people have turned out at Boxing Day Hunt Meets around Britain. Boxing Day is the biggest day in the hunting calendar and attendance at the local meet forms a traditional part of Christmas for many families in the countryside.
Barney White-Spunner, Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance, commented:
“Today has been an extraordinary display of support for hunting right the way across the country. From Cornwall to Cumbria, from Norfolk to North Wales hundreds of thousands of people have turned out to support their local hunts and reject the pointless, prejudiced and wasteful Hunting Act.
“Those hundreds and thousands of people have sent a clear message to the government. They understand the difficulties of coalition government and the serious issues facing the nation, but this law is flawed and it has failed. Tackling the Hunting Act is a matter of trust between David Cameron, his Government and the countryside.”
At least 6,000 people gathered to greet the Heythrop hounds in Chipping Norton. The Heythrop was the subject of a £327,000 private prosecution by the RSPCA. Stephen Lambert, Chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations was amongst them. He said: “Today has been a great boost for the hunt, and hunting generally. For all the nonsense talked by opponents of hunting real people are showing real support for this hunt and the 300 others meeting all over the country today. When the hounds rode off down the High Street the cheers from the crowd brought a tear to quite a few eyes.”