Hunting Act & loop holes
The “Hunting with Dogs Act 2004” came into force in February 2005.
although some people might say this is the worst written Act in UK history which is full of loop holes and basically allows hunts to carry on hunting.
Sadly this weak law is the only law that offers some protection to our wildlife.
Our current PM Theresa May wants the act scrapping to allow hunts to carry on hunting and killing without restriction.
what is actually needed is the Hunting Act to be amended & strengthened, loop holes closed and correctly policed.
A kill is a kill and should be without exceptions.
With 84% of the country against this barbaric hunting activity people have to question if our prime minister is totally out of touch with the pubic and is pandering to her hunting sponsors to secure votes.
In 2004 after public outrage regarding hunting, Tony Blair’s government brought this loop hole act in. Some people believe it was written to purposely include loop holes which allow hunts to carry on killing but also to pacify and con the public into believing that there was now a law to protect our wildlife.
Hunts claim they are not fox hunting … but … trail hunting.
Trail hunting is a false name made up by hunts to try and deceive people into thinking they are just following a trail.
The issue of hunting is toxic to any person who openly supports it.
Are MPs failing to protect our wildlife ?
The majority of MPs are against hunting and support the hunting ban not being scrapped (repelled).
although : Are they really just supporting an Act knowing it has so many loop holes thus allowing hunts to continue hunting.
Many people believe this loop hole weak Act was introduced just to pacify the public by Tony Blair’s government knowing full well it would not be policed, thus allowing hunts to continue to hunt while conning the public into believing hunting had been banned. There is growing concern that MP’s are sitting on the fence and failing to ensure our wildlife is protected by law.
Do MPs need to start listening to public opinion and finally vote to get the hunting ban strengthened and loop holes closed. Or are they just turning a blind eye pushing the cruelty that still continues to the back of their minds and ignoring 84% of the public who want a complete full ban.
The public spent years waited for a ban to be put into place and another 13 yrs now being conned.
The problem with the hunting act
There are a number of problems with the current Hunting Act which could be easy to resolve by strengthening of the Hunting Act.
· Lack of committed enforcement by some police forces.
· Exemptions & loop holes.
· Failing to Prosecute.
Despite video evidence showing hunts chasing foxes, the CPS & Judges now require evidence to prove a hunt was “intentionally” chasing an animal with dogs.
Can you imagine if all our other UK laws where based on intentional. example : Would murderers, rapists, thieves claim “oops” they didn’t mean to intentionally murder or steal something, it was an accident and get away with being prosecuted.
This to put it in simple terms is what has been happening with illegal hunting.
Intentional : Any hunt who sets out :
* With a pack of hounds trained to kill and follow a fox, deer, hare scent. (ie purposely setting out with killing tools (hounds) which have been trained to follow animal scent).
* In an area with known wildlife. (ie purposely seeking out victims).
* With little control over hounds. (ie knowingly that their hounds will chase an animal).
* with terrier men in tow. (ie with terriers ready to be put to ground seeking out hunted animals taking refuge.
* Illegally blocking roads to prevent themselves being filmed. (ie trying to cover up a crime).
We believe this shows intention enough to prosecute these hunts and they should not be allowed to use the excuse of an accident to avoid being prosecuted. The law should support this.
Hunts must clearly display they have control of their hounds and a reckless clause should be included into the Hunting Act to prevent accidents and lies.
Hunts have had 13yrs to retrain new hounds to follow a non fox based scent but have refused to do this.
Hunts must be held accountable by law for their hounds actions :-
- Chasing and killing animals.
- Trespassing on peoples private land.
- Running riot on roads dodging between traffic.
- On railway lines.
- Recklessly out of control.
- Killing domestic pets.
- Spreading TB throughout the countryside.
So why aren’t more hunts being prosecuted ?
There have been hundreds of successful prosecutions proving many times that hunts continue to lie, flout and make a mockery of our laws.
But considering there are over 250 registered hunts in the UK (and many more unregistered hunts) who hunt on average twice a week, only a few hundred prosecutions have actually taken place.
In the 13 yrs of the (supposedly) hunting ban the number of prosecutions should be in the thousands but sadly hunts get away with it because the act is not enforced or policed.
There are thousands upon thousands of video evidence posted online of hunts doing their illegal activities which cannot be disputed.
But hunts claim “Oops” it was an accident and hounds will be hounds, we couldn’t call them off etc (i.e out of control) Hunts just laugh about it and say prove it in a court of law, because they know they will get away with it due to the failure of our government and legal system in protecting our wildlife.
This just proves one thing, hunts have no control over their hounds killing and running riot over roads, railway lines, trespassing on land and invading peoples gardens, killing domestic pets.
Hounds are basically dogs but strangely enough hunts are not expected to follow the UKs dog laws. They are allowed to drop their excrement all over the country spreading infections and diseases. Just recently a hunt had to have a large number of hounds destroyed which were infected with bTB.
Hunts are a huge biosecurity risk trampling around the countryside through farmers fields.
It also has to be questioned what classification do hounds now fall under. They can no longer be classed as a sporting dog as trail hunting is not a sport. It is highly questionable if the can be classed as a working dog as (so called) trail hunting is a leisure activity and part of a membership club.
Why are hunts getting away with it ?
In order to successfully prosecute a hunt, the C.P.S. (Crown Prosecution Services) requires “unrealistic obtainable evidence”.
i.e. the prosecution has to prove “Intent” all captured on video.
What the CPS requires : The C.P.S requires video evidence to show :-
- An animal being chased by hounds
- (plus) Being followed by hunt horses
- (plus) With hounds being encouraged to actively chase
- (plus) With proof of date
- (plus) With proof of location
- (plus) Showing identification of hunters.
- (plus) All in one continuous stream of video with no breaks.
(which explains why hunts and their supporters get away with it and also go to great lengths to prevent themselves being filmed resorting to violence and attacks on any person trying to gain video evidence).
Now considering that police don’t actually get out in the fields to film, monitor or even investigate hunting, they expect the public to deliver this evidence to them … but … If the public try to do this they are arrested on some trumped up accusation usually trespass but later released.
The countryside has become lawless with police failing to uphold the law. Hunts have become “Above the Law” and more devious at hiding their illegal activity, locations of meets and dates, preventing their illegal activity being filmed. Also taking into consideration police failing to monitor hunts and the CPS ridiculous requirements.
I’m sure you can now understand why the number of successful prosecutions is low.
Enforcing the ban
The only people trying to ensure this (supposedly) hunting ban is being enforced are the public (sabs & monitors) doing the job the police are suppose to be doing.
Sabs and monitors are volunteer members of the public who are attacked on a regular basis, have threats and abuse thrown at them, families threatened if hunts discover who they are, vehicles damaged with no support from the law while they try to gain evidence of illegal hunting. All done for no personal gain except for the love of animals and to protect our wildlife.
Due to the threats from hunting thugs, the public (sabs & monitors) have to keep their faces covered to prevent being recognised which could result in their families being attacked by hunt supporters or their jobs being threatened.
(Please see the many video evidence in our gallery of the public (monitors) being attacked)
If hunts where hunting legally ?
If hunts where innocent and staying with in the law. Why do they have a problem being filmed ?. They like being filmed while parading around the town square but as soon as they get out in the country where they don’t like being filmed, then the illegal hunting & killing resumes. Why do they react so violently towards anyone trying to film them.
Some people might say : Hunts have become so use to lying, deceiving, conning the public, law, police etc, they now feel its their duty to do so.. and have made lying the normal because they feel they are protecting their right to kill regardless of it being against the law to massacre animals..
Hunts claim the fox population needs to be controlled. So why are hunts rearing foxes to hunt ?.
What is the public view on hunters ?
Some people might think : These hunting mafia bullies and their thug supporters are nothing more than over privileged, abusive tally ho yobs who feel it is their right to continue to massacre our wildlife just for the fun of killing because the law allows them to get away with it.
Hunts wrongly claim it is a class war.
We can clearly state, Its nothing to do with class, Its all about stopping our wildlife being massacred just for fun.
Fox, deer, hare hunting with dogs needs to be fully banned and the Hunting Act amended to strengthen and close all the loop holes.
There are alternative types of hunting to fox hunting :-
Drag Hunting (clean boot) : this follows a non fox based artificial trail (ie a human runner or dragged rag) will be used for the hounds to follow (no killing).
Trail scent : Non-animal based scents ie aniseed or chemical crystal mixed with water and oil.
Although some people think this still will leave loop holes for some hunts to abuse the law and carry on killing while no one was looking. It’s a shame that fox hunts have given drag hunts a bad name and there’s little trust left.
Mock hunting : No hounds are used and no killing. Allows hunts to still enjoy the freedom of galloping in the countryside over jumps but in a safer manner over a pre determined course that can be risk assessed. This would be less damaging to horses, allow the hunts to stay with-in health and safety regulations and encourage more people to get involved without any illegal implications.
Donation rides : This is an organised ride across country and over fences where the rides choose which fences they want to jump and at what pace they choose to finish course. Many hunts organise these to raise money. They do not involve hounds or following a scent. The course/ride is pre determined over the best safest riding country. Jumps can be checked for safety.
Strengthening the Ban
After 13 years in operation any law would benefit from a tightening and improvement, and the Hunting Act is not an exception. Although as a law the Hunting Act could be a very good law, the problem is that it has not been properly enforced, so we believe that amendments that improve enforcement are needed. In particular, we are calling for:
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