Michael-Scott-Old-BerksThe Hunting Act 2004 came into law on 18 February 2005, but ten years on the hunting community is still just as keen to see this illogical, badly drafted and unfair law consigned to history.

In 2015 practically every one of the 300 plus hunts that were operating when the ban was passed is still going strong, thanks to the determination of the hunting community – but continuing like this is not an option. 

Tim Bonner, director of campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, said: “The law has proved just as unworkable, pointless and wasteful as we predicted. A law which was passed because of MPs’ obsession with fox hunting has been used almost exclusively to prosecute poachers – 97% of cases brought under the Act do not involve registered hunts.

“The Hunting Act does not even work from the fox’s point of view. Anti-hunt groups spent around £30 million to put the Hunting Act on the statute book– since then they have spent a penny to show the impact it has had on animal welfare. This is because there has been no improvement in welfare – just as many foxes are being killed as were before the ban.

“The Hunting Act has nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with class politics and prejudice which is why the law is completely unworkable.

“Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money and thousands of hours of police time continue to be wasted on spurious allegations under the Hunting Act. We call on the next Government to ensure that the ban is repealed. This issue will never be resolved until we have legislation based on evidence and principle, rather than prejudice and political point scoring.”

For more information, contact Countryside Alliance head of media Charlotte Cooper on 0207 8409220 and 07500 834163 or email [email protected]

Notes for editors
• There are over 300 registered hunts in England and Wales. Together they have carried out more than 150,000 days hunting since the Act came into force on 18 February 2005.
• There have been 30 completed cases under the Hunting Act involving hunts registered with the Council of Hunting Associations (up to January 2015).
• Of those 30 cases just 13 led to a conviction – just over one case for every year of the Hunting Act.