court_generalFollowing a question by former minister for farming Jim Fitzpatrick on 26 June the Ministry of Justice has released figures that show 110 people were charged under the Hunting Act in 2013 and 56 were found guilty.

However this figure is misleading, as the very great majority of cases heard under the Hunting Act do not involve hunts.

A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: “The Ministry of Justice figures show that 56 people were found guilty of offences under the Hunting Act in 2013, but just six of those people were in reality allied to a registered hunt. 

“Our records show that eight cases were brought under the Hunting Act that involved registered hunts last year – three ended in a conviction and five of those cases were dropped because of insufficient evidence. This shows a large number of cases brought against hunts should never have made it to court.

“These figures are also further evidence that the Hunting Act is flawed as so many of the cases brought under the Hunting Act do not actually involve hunts and could have been prosecuted under other legislation.”