LETTER: Hunting Act being flouted

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Another Boxing Day has been and gone and we have been shown chocolate-box pictures of hunt meets, fed inflated figures of attendees and told that hunts now only follow scent trails.

Nothing could be less true. ‘Trail hunting’ is an almost entirely fictional ‘sport’, devised to exploit the weaknesses of the Hunting Act 2004.

Most organised hunts employ what one judge called ‘cynical subterfuge’ (Judge Pert QC, in rejecting the appeal against conviction of the huntsman and terrierman of the Fernie Fox Hounds at Leicester Crown Court in 2011) to carry on hunting and slaughtering foxes, deer and hares for ‘sport’, much as they did before the ‘ban’. A former Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service has advised that the law is being ‘extensively flouted’.

Although monitors and sabs often see and film them doing this, it is extraordinarily difficult to prove actual law-breaking, even without the obstruction, threats and violence with which hunts so often greet them.

Police and the CPS are placed in a difficult position, often unable or unwilling to take on socially powerful and financially well-resourced hunts in these circumstances.

So, what is effectively a huge, nationwide criminal conspiracy by a tiny, but powerful, minority is allowed to rage unchecked, undermining the clear will of the people and the rule of law – and thousands of defenceless wild animals continue to be tormented and killed for fun.

This cannot be allowed to continue. Please support Protect Our Wild Animals’s campaign to strengthen the Hunting Act.

Alan Kirby

Protect Our Wild Animals

Hayle, West Cornwall