by Countryside Alliance

TAUNTON: Two men, including a former huntsman of the Quantock Staghounds, were found not guilty of offences under the Hunting Act 2004 at Taunton Magistrates Court today (4th February 2020).

Retired huntsman Richard Down faced charges of illegal hunting following an investigation by Avon and Somerset Police relating to hunting activity on Monday 18th March 2019, on the Quantock Hills in Somerset. Charges against whipper-in Martin Watts were also dropped. 

A spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance said: "Today's verdict highlights yet another example of evidence provided by anti-hunting activists failing to support their claims of illegal hunting activity. Just two weeks ago, the huntsman of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale was also found not guilty of offences under the Hunting Act. Both cases have resulted in a huge amount of valuable police resources and court time being wasted when there was never any valid evidence that an illegal activity had occurred. 

"We continue to urge the police and the CPS to carefully consider whether allegations made by committed and prejudiced activists should lead to charges being brought. We will also continue to assist the rural community against these ongoing malicious campaigns and unfounded allegations."

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