Category Archive 'Hunt Ban'

03 Jan 2019

“I Will Be a Foxhunter Forever and More”

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05 Jun 2016

Hunt Saboteur to Master of Hounds

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The Yorkshire Post describes Miles Cooper’s conversion from Hunt Saboteur and League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) activist to Field Sports participant and finally Master of Hounds.

I know it would be more interesting to say I had a road to Damascus moment, but there were no blinding lights. It was much more of a gradual process. I was living in a market town in Oxfordshire and I came to know many of the farmers who lived there. I guess the more I talked to them, the more I began to question the anti-hunt stance. I spoke to sheep farmers who explained that hunts were a viable way of managing the fox population, that they were more humane than snaring and shooting. These weren’t people trying to twist my mind. They were people who had the countryside and its best interests in their blood. They were simply explaining their point of view and given their wealth of experience it was right for me to listen, to think and to challenge my own views.”

By the time a hunting ban became a serious prospect, Miles had decided that it wasn’t something that he could support. In April 2002, 13 years after going on his first protest he came out publicly as pro-hunting. “I suppose I could have gone quietly, but I decided that I should be open and honest, especially since I’d been so publically critical of hunting in the past so a press conference was organised at Westminster. Of course I had reservations and what I had to say went down like a lead balloon with former colleagues, but I’ve never had any regrets about doing it.” …

Over the intervening years Miles’s pro-hunting stance strengthened. So much so, he learned to ride and went out on his first hunt with the Warwickshire Hunt. He also breeds and works ferrets, shoots and hunts with his local pack of beagles.

“It felt a little surreal to begin with, but for me it was a natural next step,” he says by way of explanation. “Everything I have seen being part of the hunting world has only confirmed that the Government got it wrong and the current legislation isn’t fit for purpose. Take hares for instance: the law says it’s wrong to hunt a healthy hare but okay to hunt one which has been wounded first. It’s ridiculous, a nonsense and just downright perverse.”

Miles moved to Yorkshire for work – he’s a manager at York’s Askham Bryan College, the largest land-based college in England – but it’s also here where his conversion from hunt sab to hunt master was complete.

“A colleague showed me an advert in Countryman’s Weekly magazine which said that a new pack of bloodhounds was being set up in Yorkshire and that anyone interested in helping should get in contact. Not many people get to contribute to starting a hunt from scratch, so I thought what have I got to lose? The answer to that was all my spare time and some of my hair, but I’ve loved it.”

Miles admits that when he sees pictures of himself hunting, whether that be with the bloodhounds or out beagling, he occasionally has to do a double take, but he says he hopes his experience might help dent the long-lived stereotypes.

“Hunting isn’t a sport just for toffs. We are not a bunch of lords. Most people join a hunt because they love riding and sacrifice most other things in their life to pay for the upkeep of their horse. There is a real cross section of society in any hunt that you don’t get in a lot of places. I can tell you from first-hand experience that you don’t get wealthy being a hunt master. In fact, you just get older, greyer and poorer a whole lot quicker, but by God I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Read the whole thing.

All this goes to show that some people are capable of growth and education.

19 Nov 2014

Repeal the British Hunt Ban

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Blue Ridge Hunt hunting at Priskilly. (click on picture for larger image — Photo by DZ)

James Delingpole (who hunts) deplores Britain’s Puritanical hunt ban. In his view, foxhunting should not be illegal, it should be compulsory.

Foxhunting is the greatest sport ever devised. It takes place on a wildly uneven pitch perhaps 100 miles square, in often fiendish weather conditions, involves extraordinary team work and cameraderie between man and beast, with, instead of a football or a rugger ball, a living, intelligent quarry often more than capable of outwitting its pursuers. If you haven’t hunted, you really haven’t lived.

The best advert for hunting are the people who are against it: joyless vegans; vindictive class warriors; the noisome RSPCA; dreadlocked inner city crusties with dogs on ropes; mimsy unmarriageables with a dozen cats; Nick Clegg; Ed Miliband; the Green party; everyone who works at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales; townie tossers.

Read the whole thing.

Like the America Gun Control Act of 1968, the British Hunt Ban was actually modeled on legislation passed by Adolph Hitler. Hitler was a vegetarian and an animal lover. He, too, thought hunting beasts with hounds was cruel.

01 Sep 2010

Tony Blair Says He Intentionally Sabotaged the Hunt Ban

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The Tory Party has promised to allow a repeal vote on the infamous 2004 Hunt Ban.

Bloomberg has read an advance copy of Blair’s memoir.

Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said he deliberately sabotaged the ban on fox hunting his government introduced, calling it “one of the domestic legislative measures I most regret.”

In his memoir “A Journey,” published by Random House today, Blair said he ensured that the 2004 Hunting Act was “a masterly British compromise” that left enough loopholes to allow hunting to continue “provided certain steps were taken to avoid cruelty when the fox is killed.” He also told Home Office minister Hazel Blears to steer the police away from enforcing the law.

Blair’s 1997 pledge to give Parliament a vote on the subject dogged him throughout his time in office, with lawmakers opposed to hunting repeatedly trying to introduce a ban. Each time, hundreds of thousands of hunt supporters marched through London, and in 2004 some invaded Parliament.

“The passions aroused by the issue were primeval,” Blair, 57, wrote. “If I’d proposed solving the pension problem by compulsory euthanasia for every fifth pensioner I’d have got less trouble. By the end of it, I felt like the damn fox.”

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who described the law last year as a “farce,” has promised a vote on repeal. Since the act came into force in 2005, only three hunts have been successfully prosecuted, according to the Countryside Alliance, which was formed to oppose the ban. …

Blair said he initially agreed to a ban without properly understanding the issue. Then, during a vacation in Italy, he found himself talking to the mistress of a hunt near Oxford.

“She took me calmly and persuasively through what they did, the jobs that were dependent on it, the social contribution of keeping the hunt and the social consequence of banning it, and did it with an effect that completely convinced me,” Blair said.

29 May 2008

Gun Control and the Erosion of Personal Liberty

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Britain’s Government has banned ownership of pistols, rifles, self defense, and hunting. Participants in the Countryside March against the Blair Government’s Hunt Ban wish Britons had defended their liberties before it was too late. Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer jailed for defending his home, certainly wishes so even more.

9:07 video

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

30 May 2007

Animal Lover Eats Corgi To Protest Hunting

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A British artist has eaten chunks of a Corgi dog, the breed favored by Queen Elizabeth II, live on radio to protest against the royal family’s treatment of animals.

Mark McGowan, 37, said he ate “about three bites” of the dog meat, cooked with apples, onions and seasoning, to highlight what he called Prince Philip’s mistreatment of a fox during a hunt by the Queen’s husband in January.

“It was pretty disgusting,” McGowan said of the meal, which he ate while appearing on a London radio station on Tuesday. Yoko Ono, another guest on the show, also tried the meat. …

Corgis are the favored dogs of the queen, who has owned more than 30 of them during her reign.

McGowan’s Corgi had evidently died of natural causes. One likes to hope of some particularly loathesome and communicable disease able to survive cooking.

Let’s hope that Prince Phillip will soon hunt another bold fox, and that the nincompoop McGowan will consequently get to consume some more dead dog.

And don’t forget to save some for Yoko!

Photo gallery

1:01 MSM video

1:21 YouTube video lets you hear this idiot’s vulgar accent and see his hostility.

His web-site announcing the event.

Wikipedia entry detailing this great artist’s other contributions to civilization.

29 Oct 2006

News From Melton Mowbray: Another British Fox Hunt Turns to Falconry

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Neil Everley of the Quorn with Golden Eagle/Steppe Eagle cross

As we noted last December, the infamous February 2005 Hunt Ban, enacted by Britain’s Labour Party as a gesture of class animosity and urban spite, banned hunting par force du chien (i.e., the traditional pursuit and reduction to possession of the quarry by a pack of hounds), but included certain loopholes: drag hunts (i.e., hunts in which the pack hunts an artificially created line of scent) are lawful; and hounds can be used to follow a scent and to flush out a fox, which may then be pursued by no more than two dogs, and ultimately shot or taken by means of falconry.

The strange consequence of this vile legislation has been a curious revival of falconry employing large raptors by several enterprising hunts. Last year, the Cheshire Hunt was seen taking to the field accompanied by a European Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo).

This year, the illustrious Quorn is training a huge Eurasian Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos chrysaetos) and Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) cross.

Melton Today

Hat tip to Steve Bodio. I’m less pessimistic than Steve’s correspondent Patrick, who evidently accompanied the link he sent Steve with prognostications of havoc.

Let’s see — amped up hounds, lots of people, a couple hundred horses, a panicked fox, and someone in a coat and tie handling a massive Golden Eagle cross in the middle of it all. Madness on stilts if you ask me! When the eagle is injured or killed, it will be described as an “accident” rather than planned stupidity.”

I’m sure some very interesting misadventures (and ones worth writing about!) will inevitably occur, but it’s all part of the game in the sporting field. And I’m rather pleased myself at the irony of the same detestable English Puritanism which nearly extinguished the ancient sport of falconry in the British Isles in the 17th century, inadvertently ushering it back in in the 21th century, and in a particularly colorful and grandiose form to boot.

17 Aug 2006

Fox Hunting Defended

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Joseph Pearce identifies the real issue underlying Britain’s hunt ban.

The urban proletariat and its Labour Party representatives perceived hunting as a preserve of the rich and as an archaic throwback to the days of feudalism and privilege. In fact, hunting is enjoyed by all social classes in rural England and is an expression of the community spirit that still survives in the countryside, even as it has long since become extinct in the cities. This fact was made glaringly obvious by the sheer enormity of the size of the pro-hunt demonstration by the Countryside Alliance before the ban became law. The rural rich and poor descended on London expressing the unity of the countryfolk of England against the stripping of their ancestral rights by an urban tyranny alienated by the very notion of cultural roots and traditional notions of communitas.

The central issue is not, however, merely a question of tradition versus modernity, though this is doubtless a key and important factor in the tension between town and country. The central issue is connected to what the Catholic Church has termed “subsidiarity.” The principal objection to the banning of hunting is that the urban proletariat had no right to override the wishes of the majority of people in the countryside to pursue their ancient traditions unmolested. No foxes are hunted in Hampstead or in Birmingham. No stags are pursued through the streets of Liverpool or Manchester. What right, therefore, do the people of these areas have to dictate what the people of Much Wenlock or Moreton-in-the-Marsh can or can’t do in the fields surrounding their villages? Why should the tradition-oriented folk of the English shires be forced to conform to the conventions of what Evelyn Waugh described “as our own deplorable epoch”? Why should the civilized remnant of England be forced to practice the new barbarism of our modern cities? These, as I say, are the key questions raised by the banning of hunting.

We have the same thing here already with respect to gun ownership, and our traditional forms of field sport will sooner or later inevitably also face threats of legal prohibition inspired by urban intolerance.


Hat tip to Steve Bodio.

27 Dec 2005

Hunt Ban Proving Unenforceable in Britain

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Faced with a tyrannical ban on Hunting, the British countryside responded this year with an increased turnout for Boxing Day hunt meetings.

The infamous February 2005 Hunt Ban, enacted by Britain’s Labour Party as a gesture of class animosity and urban spite, banned hunting par force du chien (i.e., the traditional pursuit and reduction to possession of the quarry by a pack of hounds), but included certain loopholes: drag hunts (i.e., hunts in which the pack hunts an artificially created line of scent), are lawful; and hounds can be used to follow a scent and to flush out a fox, which may then be pursued by no more than two dogs, and ultimately shot or taken by means of falconry. Consequently, the Telegraph reports:

European Eagle Owl

In Buckinghamshire, for instance, a good time was had chasing a scent line across country, while the Cheshire rode out with two hounds and an eagle owl, as solemnly permitted by Act of Parliament.

These new, officially sanctioned forms of hunting might seem daft but, objectively considered, they are no more so than the traditional version.

The point of the [fox] hunt, after all, was always highly necessary pest control, and that in itself is a pretty joyless business. But an accumulation of seasonal rituals, special drinks and menus, private language and silly clothes turned an onerous obligation into a community festival, and the native absurdity of it was always part of the enjoyment.

So if the opponents of hunting thought that the spirit of traditional countrymen would be broken by making them ride with an owl, or chase a false scent before accidentally encountering a fox (as though that had never happened before), they were rather pitifully missing the point. Hunting was always absurd, because fun usually is.


Earlier reports.

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