Hunt Kennels & Hounds


Hunt Kennels & Hounds

New licensing regulations, known as the Animal Activities Licensing Regulations 2018 (AAL), come into force on 1st October 2018.


Hunt kennels are exempt from inspection and licensing as DEFRA Government Department do not consider Hunts to be a commercial activity regardless of hunts being a business ie they charge a fee, employ staff and provide a leisure activity. They also provide a fox removal service (trail-fox-hunting) for which they deny.


If a hunt is licensed as a Ltd Company (as many now are), this may change their definition from non-commercial to commercial which would then fall under local authorities kennel licensing requirements.

Hunts need to be licensed and independently inspected by the local authority to ensure animal welfare and environment standards are met. This smoke screen created by DEFRA that allow hunts to go non-inspected just creates different rules for different people.

Hound and kennel inspections

Hunts claim their hounds are regularly inspected by their own paid vets, but as there is no independent inspection, no licensing required, no requirement to provide proof, no authority requirement to produce records and how often their hounds receive veterinary treatment or veterinary inspection, this remains unknown.


Hunt kennels are only regulated by their own code of practice (The Council of Hunting Associations (CHA) and the Animal Welfare Act 2006. They are not independently or externally inspected by the local authority therefore the standard of animal welfare cannot be verified. Only if reported by a member of the public do any breaches in the Animal Welfare Act come to light. 


Health Records

Their own code of practice recommends they keep their own hounds’ health records but as they are not independently or externally inspected this once again cannot be verified.



It is not an offence under Sections 4(4) and 9(4) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, or other legislation, to kill an unprotected animal so long as it is done in an “appropriate and humane manner”.


Therefore hunts can dispose of their hounds themselves as and when they choose without any verification that this was carried out in a humane manner.

Carcasses must be disposed of either in incinerators that comply with the EU Animal By-products Regulations 2003 or by an approved collection service. It is an offence to bury carcasses or other animal waste.

(Now the UK has left the EU, we are not sure what the EU legislation has been replaced with).

As this is all done quietly behind closed doors, it cannot be verified if this is carried out according to regulations. 

A recently exposed case revealed a Carmarthen huntsman was found guilty of 16 breaches of the law. The court heard that William Pinkney operated a fallen stock collection service at the Carmarthenshire Hunt Kennels. He also admitted feeding hounds with contaminated material and not keeping up to date records for the hounds.


As hunts are allowed to shoot their hounds as they wish if they are no longer required or sick, this allows transmitted diseases to go unrecorded. The full extent of hounds spreading bTB across the countryside possibly infecting cattle, goes undetected. It seems easier for DEFRA to blame the poor badger than face up to properly regulating hunts. How long will this smoke screen for hunts continue?



By law all dogs are required to be micro-chipped. There are no exemptions for hounds, however as DEFRA have ensured the local authority does not inspect hunt kennels, it cannot be verified that hunts comply with this law.

Hunts claim all their hounds are ear tattooed instead, however, incidents where hounds have run onto roads and been killed (especially in Wales) with non-registered packs show no identification when police have investigated.


Hound exercising

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 27 Control of Dogs on Road, hunts are required to maintain proper control of their hounds. Even if they were hunting at the material time and used for sporting purposes, they are still required to maintain proper control of their hounds on designated roads. There are no exemptions to this legislation.


So why do we see hounds totally out of control dodging in between traffic, running into people’s gardens and attacking pets, fouling all over the road and breaking the law without any prosecutions.


Police like to blame the Hunting Act for all it’s failings, however hounds out of control on roads does not fall under the Hunting Act legislation. Government says it’s a police matter. Hunts say oops, prove it. CPS says not enough evidence. Antis dispute this point of view.

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