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.
Wednesday, 6 February 2013
The Countryside Alliance welcomes the Government's proposals for micro-chipping of dogs and other changes to dog control legislation.
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
On Tuesday 29 January a Westminster Hall debate was held at Parliament on the role of the RSPCA as a prosecutor. The debate was put down by former Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Simon Hart MP and was well attended.Read more
Friday, 25 January 2013
Next Tuesday, 29th January, a Westminster Hall debate will be held at Parliament on the RSPCA prosecution issue. The debate has been put down by former Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Simon Hart MP, who was one of a group of Parliamentarians who wrote to the Charity Commission on this issue. Horse & Hound magazine reports: "Simon Hart told H&H that the purpose of the debate, the first of its kind, "was to question whether a charity that acts as a prosecutor, and which claims to comply with the Crown Prosecution Service's guidance on prosecutions, is conflicted by the fact that it also has a political and commercial interest in the cases that it takes. Mr Hart told H&H that he also wanted to highlight that the charity's good work "on the ground" was compromised by "an increasingly animal rights-based agenda being pursued by the RSPCA leadership".
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes about YouGov's interesting new polling which reveals the recent Heythrop court case has dented the Society's popularity: When Heythrop huntsman Julian Barnfield dared to suggest that the RSPCA’s obsessive pursuit of both himself and the hunt was motivated by politics rather than any real interest in animal welfare, and District Judge Pattinson called the charity’s expenditure in prosecuting them “quite staggering” and questioned whether “the public may feel RSPCA funds could have been more usefully employed”, the reaction was predictable.Read more
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Countryside Alliance animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington has written for leading political website Politics.co.uk. Jim's article is entitled "If you want to be kind to animals, bring back fox hunting". Jim makes the vital point: "Critics say that hunting cannot possibly be a form of pest control as they kill so few compared with other methods. This is to fundamentally misunderstand hunting and wildlife management. Wildlife management is not about numbers killed, but the health and size of the population left alive. A hunt is perfectly suited to achieving this, being a combination of sport, wildlife management and pest control and not just any one of those things." Read Jim's article here.
Thursday, 17 January 2013
28th Feb - Zetland Hunt end of season dinner with Guest Speaker: Marcus Armytage, Grand National Winning Jockey, Racing Correspondent to the Telegraph and Horse & Hound. Headlam Hall Hotel, Thursday 28th February 2013, 7:30pm prompt. Three course dinner:- only £28 per head. Tickets strictly in advance available from Philip & Pippa Leech - Application deadline – Friday 22nd February 2013. 01833 650935 / 07774 148428 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Countryside Alliance Animal Welfare Consultant Jim Barrington took part in a debate at Middlesex University on 16th January. The debate on hunting saw Jim take on League Against Cruel Sports Chief Executive Joe Duckworth for the first time. Read Jim's thoughts about the exchange in his latest blog, "Debatable Tactics" in which he observes that Duckworth's strong anti-hunting views didn't stop him from having no real answers regarding hunting or the Hunting Act.
Monday, 14 January 2013
The Daily Telegraph ran an article on Saturday 12th January entitled "RSPCA summoned to meet head of charity watchdog after controversial David Cameron hunt prosecution". In the article it was revealed that the charity has been called in to meet Charity Commission Chairman William Shawcross to explain prosecutions "in general" and the recent Heythrop six-figure care in particular. Read Christopher Hope's article, which contains a Telegraph TV clip from Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner.
Thursday, 3 January 2013
Countryside Alliance animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington has added to his excellent blog, this time with an entry entitled "Boxing Day - the meets and the media". In this latest blog Jim tackles the media hysteria and spin surrounding hunting, especially apparent in Boxing Day coverage, writing that those who oppose hunting readily employ stereotypes far removed from the reality of those who hunt. "Odd that these groups somehow manage to categorise everyone into good or bad, based solely on their views about hunting, regardless of what sort of person they might be or what they may do for humans or animals." Read Jim's blog here.
Thursday, 3 January 2013
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: On Boxing Day the newspapers and broadcast media reported Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s comments about the coalition agreement commitment to a free vote on the repeal of the Hunting Act. He said that there was no prospect of a vote this year saying: "There’s only a point having a vote if you’re going to win. At the moment, it would not be my proposal to bring forward a vote which we were going to lose. There needs to be more work done on members of parliament." He did, however, confirm that "It is our clear intention to have a free vote but we need to choose an appropriate moment."Read more