On Wednesday December 14th, Warwickshire Police issued a Community Protection Notice to Warwickshire Hunt Limited after they repeatedly caused danger on the roads in Warwickshire.
This move comes after the hunt repeatedly ignored a warning that had been issued to them in May of this year.
The conditions require the Warwickshire Hunt to give the police advance notice of all hunt meets, and details of the times and locations of road crossing points. There are also requirements for the hunt to notify all riders about their responsibilities around crossing roads at designated points.
The notice could last for three years and if the conditions are broken it would result in a criminal offence.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs commented,
“This CPN could set a major precedent for hunts across the country. This has come about due to our constant sabbing of the Warwickshire Hunt and our exposure of them causing chaos on public roads and the subsequent pressure on the police by members of the public.
We welcome this move by Warwickshire Police and encourage any sightings of the Warwickshire Hunt on public roads to be reported to them.
The CPN only applies to their hunt meets in Warwickshire but there are only a handful of meets where they could realistically hunt without crossing any public roads. During the main hunting season, they will cross multiple roads in a single day.
The terms of the notice will cause some major headaches for the Warwickshire Hunt and could severely limit their hunting activities. Due to our constant sabbing of them the Warwickshire have been extremely secretive this season, swapping days, changing times, limiting who comes out. The last thing they want is to have to report where they are going to be meeting.
Roads obviously wouldn’t be an issue for a “trail hunt” but since this is just a smokescreen and the path the fox takes can be unpredictable, the Warwickshire Hunt won’t know beforehand which roads their hounds may end up on. It could mean several of their favourite hunting coverts located next to busy roads are out of bounds, it could mean having to stop their hounds on a fox if it heads towards a main road, but this isn’t as easy as it sounds. We’ve often seen huntsman Will Goffe charging down a road trying to find where his hounds have gone. The other option is that in all their arrogance they choose to ignore the CPN and carry on as normal, however they would be committing an offence by doing this.
The Warwickshire Hunt have 21 days to appeal and we have no doubt they will be burning through their cash reserves paying for an expensive legal team to get this overturned.
In the meantime, we recommend that any sighting of the Warwickshire Hunt be filmed and reported to Warwickshire Police, especially if on any roads.
We also recommend that people outside of Warwickshire start filming all instances of their local hunts causing havoc on public roads and then get in touch with their local police forces and ask them why they aren’t doing similar to Warwickshire Police.”
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