This is just a snapshot of some of the incidents involving hunts since the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004.
September - Hunt supporters dump dead horses and cows on the streets of Brighton, where the Labour party conference was taking place, to protest the proposed hunting ban
August - First conviction under the Hunting Act, with Tony Wright, the huntsman of the Exmoor Foxhounds found guilty of illegally hunting a fox. This was later acquitted at appeal, after the court found that 'searching' for a mammal was not hunting and that "hunting could only be an 'intentional' activity"
March - Charges brought against Julian Barnfield of the Heythrop Hunt by the CPS were dropped in response to the earlier High Court ruling in the Tony Wright case. See 2012 for more…
May - Huntsman of the Wick & District Beagles receives a police caution for illegally hunting a hare, the first member of a beagle pack (a type of hunt that hunts hare while on foot) to face any action under the Hunting Act.
December - Two members of the Heythrop Hunt, Julian Barnfield and Richard Sumner, and the hunt itself as a corporate entity plead guilty to illegally hunting foxes on four occasions in contravention of the Hunting Act. This was the first prosecution of its kind brought by the RSPCA.
November - HSA publishes leaked online webinars held by the ‘Hunting Office.’ Hunt staff from across the country attended, as members of hunting’s governing body referred to trail hunting as a ‘smokescreen’ and a ‘jolly good wheeze,’ and admitted that terrier work is hunting’s ‘soft underbelly.’ An ex-police officer also gave advice on not telling the police anything if interviewed over a potential Hunting Act offence.
Major landowners, including the National Trust, Forestry England, Natural Resources Wales and National Parks banned 'trail hunting' on millions of acres of land they own in light of this.
December - East Essex Hunt terrierman, Paul O’Shea, is caught on film by hunt sabs trapping and torturing a fox with a pitch fork at an ‘artificial earth.’ He would later admit charges of hunting a wild mammal with a dog and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
December - Royal Artillery Hunt kill a fox on MOD land at their Christmas Eve meet. The huntsman admitted this happened, but claimed to be off his horse urinating at the time, so was unable to intervene. No action was taken over this incident.
December - Ex-huntsman of Quorn Hunt, Ollie Finnegan, plead guilty to Hunting Act offences - the evidence consisted of dozens of WhatsApp messages between him, masters of his hunt and the huntsman of the Ledbury Hunt, talking about hunting foxes, were found on his phone after it was seized by police. Magistrates said they demonstrated a “pattern of offending over a period of time.”
March - William Hanson, ex huntsman of the Fernie Hunt, was found ‘not guilty’ of illegal hunting, despite agreement in court that the hounds chased a fox (and witnesses that saw this happen through their village), and that the chase started when the huntsman took hounds into a covert known to police as a place where foxes resided. This case highlights the inadequacies of the Hunting Act, as the huntsman was able to claim that he was ‘trail hunting’ and therefore intent could not be proven.
August - Wynnstay Huntsman and whipper-in plead guilty to interference of a badger sett, after they were caught on camera blocking a sett. This practise is widespread ahead of a day of hunting, and is done to stop foxes from seeking shelter underground when being chased.