HSA news comment 27th December 2006

Hunt figures enter fantasy league

Hunting is apparently more popular now than ever - or would be if you believed what you read or saw in this year’s post-boxing day media. 300,000 people out supporting hunting? More popular than watching football? In their dreams! That’s over a thousand people at each meet (on average) when, apart from a few prestigious meets, most hunts rarely see more than a few retired military types, drunken farmers and barbour-clad social-climbing incomers.

Journalists (experts when it comes to working out pints or grammes) should surely question the numbers put out? Take a look at the advert below. It appeared in the hunting press about 10 years ago, when hunting was supposedly less popular: they were quoting figures of 1 million people out on boxing day!! That’s an average of 2,500 at each of 400 meets that were apparently taking place then. The Campaign for Hunting claimed twice the number of people attending hunt meets as going to watch football on the same day!

So how do 25% less hunts draw 300,000 people this boxing day and still be more popular than they’ve ever been? It’s probably because it was as much rubbish then as it still is now. Unfortunately we seem to have media who need to be spoon fed to provide us with all the news we see.

Here’s a thought - if a journalist wants to report news, why not go out unannounced and see what is really happening rather than copying press releases word for word or asking the countryside alliance where they want you to go? It would mean getting wet, dirty and possibly beaten up or your cameras stolen, but at least you might have covered another side of the issue and know what you were talking about. What a strange feeling that would be.

Hunting promotional literature