On Boxing Day hunts

The media reports that a quarter of a million people turned out today to support Boxing Day hunts. Providing these are drag hunts and no animals are killed as a result then I personally have no issue with people engaging in this activity. Riding is a very enjoyable activity, especially in the company of friends, and to get out in the fresh air in our countryside is something marvellous.

However, there is something sinister on the horizon, and this is a likely commitment by the Conservatives to repeal the ban on hunting.

I support a number of animal welfare organisations, including IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). They say, and I agree, that the Hunting Act is a workable piece of wildlife crime legislation; problems occur when it is not properly enforced. One of the main issues is hunts using trail hunting as a false alibi to avoid being prosecuted, and this needs to be addressed. The emphasis should be on enforcement of the Hunting Act – there should be no return to cruelty.

I am not for undermining country pursuits, and do understand the excitement and spectacle of a ride across countryside with dogs and horses. I just do not understand why this must include the barbarity that is the mindless slaughter of innocent wild animals for sport.

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One Response to On Boxing Day hunts

  1. Riding is a very enjoyable activity, especially in the company of friends, and to get out in the fresh air in our countryside is something marvellous.

    Yes, but “hunters” (which the still call themselves) have this arrogance that they own the countryside. (Most of them don’t.) You can be walking down a public footpath and find some of these mounted oafs riding towards you, and if you don’t press yourself into the hedge to get out of their way you can expect to have the end of a whip aimed at your face (which is not pleasant). They should not be allowed to behave like this – not even on bridleways.

    I am not for undermining country pursuits, and do understand the excitement and spectacle of a ride across countryside with dogs and horses.

    If “country pursuits” includes interfering with others’ enjoyment of rights of way, I am all for “undermining” such pursuits. The “excitement … of a ride across countryside with dogs and horses”, seems to get people’s “blood up” so that they behave in a ways that they would not ordinarily behave in (at least I hope they would not).

    Yes the “hunting act” should be amended – but to tighten it to outlaw oafish and arrogant behaviour. If I behaved on a motorbike in the same way as these toffs behave on horses, I would be banned, made subject of ASBOs, dispersion orders etc. Political parties are too soft on these sort of people – whether on horses in the countryside or in Porsches in the city. These sort of people search out loop holes to break the intention of the law and give two fingers to the rest of us.

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