Cheers as the hunt goes out in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire
Some day Britain’s contemptible Labour Government will fall and the petty tyranny of its Hunting Ban, passed via the overthrow of the British Constitution and the usurpation of the authority of both houses of Parliament by a temporary majority in the House of the Commons, will end.
In the meantime, persecution of rural traditions and sport has backfired on the Left, awakening a new political consciousness and determination on the part of their victims. Hunting is stronger than ever in Britain.
Record numbers turned out for the Boxing Day hunts yesterday – adding fresh fuel to criticisms of the ‘ban’ introduced under Labour.
More than 300,000 people converged on the countryside to take part in or cheer on the annual events across England, Wales and Scotland.
Pro-hunt groups used the turnout to renew calls to repeal the controversial 2004 Hunting Act, backed by a petition with thousands of signatures and Conservative plans to end the ban. …
More than 300 hunts, including 194 fox hunts with packs of hounds, were held yesterday, according to the Countryside Alliance. More than 6,000 turned out for one in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
The majority used ‘trails’ in which a scent of the quarry is laid down artificially. A dead fox is often used as a reward for hounds at the hunt’s end.
But many took advantage of exemptions, including around 50 which used the ‘bird of prey’ exemption.
This involves a fox being flushed out by hounds into the path of a bird of prey. Many hunts now have their own eagle owl or golden eagle.
Other hunts use an exemption in which two dogs flush out quarry from woodland for shooting. …
A petition launched last week to repeal the ‘confusing, unnecessary and divisive’ Act has already gathered 7,700 signatures, the Countryside Alliance said.
Spokesman Tim Bonner added: ‘We believe that the evidence of the last four years is that the Hunting Act has just failed in every possible term.
‘It does no good at all for animals’ welfare, is a huge cost of police time, and puts innocent people at risk of prison.’
Mr Bonner claimed a low turnout of protesters yesterday was due to them being ‘drowned out’ by supporters in recent years.
The Hunting Act was controversially passed using the Parliament Act, which meant the approval of the House of Lords – which wanted to regulate hunting with dogs – was not needed. …
It came into effect in England and Wales in February 2005 and followed a ban in Scotland introduced two years earlier.
The Act was brought in to outlaw the hunting of foxes, as well as deer, hares and mink with dogs, as well as organised hare coursing.
But opponents have argued against it on grounds including there was no evidence of cruelty and it provided a means of controlling animals numbers.
Tory leader David Cameron has said he will offer a free vote on the matter if he becomes prime minister.
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