Nearly 20 years after hunting was supposedly banned, up and down the country hunts continue to chase and kill fox, hare, mink, otter and deer for fun.
Everyone from hunt sabs to police officers to the hunters themselves know that the Hunting Act 2004 isn’t fit for purpose, and hasn’t stopped animals from being chased and killed by people with packs of hounds.
With a General Election likely within the next 12 months and Labour suggesting that they will strengthen the Hunting Act, the Hunt Saboteurs Association is stepping up our campaign to make sure the hunting of wild animals with hounds is finally banned.
During the last few years alone, we have had the leaked webinars from hunting’s governing body explaining how hunters can break and get around the law, the video of extreme animal cruelty filmed by the hunters themselves at the Avon Vale Hunt, and countless incidents of illegal hunting, violence and endangering the wider public documented in the fields by hunt saboteurs. The reality of hunting in the present day is there for all to see.
If this widespread criminality is to be stopped, along with its many areas of exploitation and cruelty towards animals, the next Government must:
- Ban so-called ‘trail hunting’ which hunts currently use as a smokescreen to carry out illegal hunting, and add a ‘recklessness’ clause to prevent trail hunting being used as cover for illegality.
- Immediately end ‘terrier work’ on hunts. This is where some of the worst animal cruelty takes place (to terriers and badgers as well as foxes). Even hunting’s governing body admits this has ‘no place’ in legal hunting and has tried (and failed) to impose its own self-enforced ban.
- Close the loophole exemptions in the law that allow animals to be chased and killed, such as through the ‘research and observation’ exemption used by stag hunts.
- Get tough on those who ride roughshod over the law by reviewing the sentencing powers under the Hunting Act, and bring these in line with other animal cruelty offences, to act as a deterrent.
By working together and showing our elected representatives and the next Government the strength of feeling and the reasons why change is needed, we can make sure that the Hunting Act is made fit for purpose and British wildlife is protected.
You can be part of this, click here to see more information on the campaign and see what you can do to take action.
Today we launch our campaign web page, which includes areas in the current Hunting Act that need strengthening, a timeline of key incidents since the Hunting Act was brought in, FAQs and a page where you can take action.
If you are a member, you will have received a postcard with the latest copy of HOWL magazine that we are asking you to send to your MP.
As we get closer to an election there will be more added to our campaign page, so be sure to check back soon.
In the meantime, please share the campaign page with friends, family, your MP and local candidates due to stand in the next election.