Sinister and criminal conspiracy schemes from leaked webinars by fox hunting’s highest level executives
In light of the leaked “training webinars from the Hunting office in August 2020” it is imperative that the government acts swiftly towards a total ban on hunting foxes, deer, hares and mink with a pack of hounds for good! We now have the evidence, thanks to the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA), that the hunting fraternity have been deliberately encouraged to break the law by the Hunting Office. This organisation is described as the executive arm of the governing bodies for hunting with hounds in the UK. A rather provocative description when hunting with a pack of hounds is illegal across mainland UK. They appear to presume it is perfectly acceptable to break a law that makes it illegal to hunt foxes, deer, hares and mink since 18 February 2005. In fact the hunts are using retired policemen to advise them on how to get around the law and avoid prosecution. There are some exemptions to the Hunting Act 2004 which allows foxes, deer, hares and mink to be hunted but not for ‘sport’ or with a pack of dogs. The Hunting Act was passed in Parliament with 85% of the British Public in support of a ban on fox hunting. From a poll carried out by Ipsos MORI it was deemed at the time that 81% of people living in rural areas were also in support of the ban.
To recap, it has been 15 years since the Hunting Act 2004 came into force. In total 362 MPs in the House of Commons voted to ban the so called ‘blood sports’ with 154 MPs voting against it. The majority voting against the ban were Conservative. The House of Lords voted for self-regulation. The government at the time was Labour and they supported the vote in the House of Commons.
Like the overwhelming majority of the British public, I too fail to understand why hunts are allowed to get away with fox hunting as well as hunting deer, hares and mink. They hunt week in week out in some cases for as long as 8 months of the year. The leaked training webinars from the Hunting office have now given us an understanding which explains why the Hunts think it is acceptable. It appears to be the case that they are under the illusion that there is one law for them and another for the rest of the British population. Employing ex-policemen to give them advice on how to hunt illegally, how to deal with the Police if they are caught and how to blame it all on Hunt Saboteurs and Hunt Monitors appears to give them the right to flout the law. This air of deliberate criminality from those at the top at the expense of innocent people was obvious from the leaked webinars chaired by Lord Mancroft, Chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). So let’s look at:
25 Reasons To Ban Fox Hunting For Good!
Reason No 1 Ban on fox hunting in England & Wales came into effect on 18 February 2005.
It has been 15 years since hunting foxes with a pack of dogs became ILLEGAL. Why does this Tory Government not only turn a blind eye to illegal fox hunting, but appears to actually encourage it? Why do the stalwarts of fox hunting think they are above the law? They are not. Hunting foxes with a pack of dogs has been BANNED!!
Reason No 2 Mass criminality in hunting community revealed. Those who monitor and attend fox hunts and other hunts know full well the hunts see it as their right to hunt as they please. There is a huge amount of video evidence on the internet of hunt personnel and their supporters attacking peaceful Hunt Monitors and Hunt Sabs causing them serious bodily harm. Females are often targeted and physically assaulted by huntsmen or supporters. There is serious criminal damage by personnel working for or supporting the hunts towards monitors, sabs and the public by smashing their vehicles, stealing video recorders, cameras and other personnel possessions as well as trespassing on private property. Too often hounds are running dangerously loose on roads as well as attacking pets and farm animals because the hunt has very little control of their hounds. Go on the internet and witness the video evidence yourself.
Reason No 3 ‘Trail Hunting’ is being used as a pretext for real hunting as fox hunts continue to hunt foxes. Trail hunting was devised by the hunts because it could be used to continue hunting as normal. It is based on drag hunting where hounds follow a scent at speed from a cloth dragged along the ground by a human runner. There is no killing of animals involved. Fox hunts supposedly have someone on foot, horse or quad bike dragging a cloth soaked in ‘an ethically sourced quarry based scent’. Are they using it to train hounds to hunt foxes? Of course they are! It’s all a bit of a lark because in order to secure a conviction for hunts killing foxes it is necessary to prove a person’s intent to hunt a wild mammal with dogs. Each time the hounds kill a fox, the hunt will describe it as an ‘accident’. Trail hunting is a total farce and a hideous sham. The leaked webinars made that very clear. A very good reason to tighten the ban on fox hunting for good!
Reason No 4 The majority of people in this country want fox hunting to STOP! There have been a number of polls in recent years which show more than 8 out of 10 of the British public want a total end to fox hunting altogether. The polls have shown that this applies to both rural areas as well as urban areas. So why do Tory governments ignore the democratic will of the people?
Reason No 5 Exemption clauses in the Hunting Act are exploited by fox hunts for their benefit.
The fox hunting fraternity have been trying to find ways to continue fox hunting by avoiding the law since the ban came in. “Flushing to a bird of prey” allows an unlimited number of dogs that can be used to flush a fox from cover to a bird of prey which will catch it and kill it! About 20 hunts were purported to have bought golden eagles and eagle owls when the ban came in. They believed by using a bird of prey they could legally hunt with full packs of hounds. So someone would take out a bird of prey to the hunt so they could claim to use it whilst hunting. Unfortunately the hunts were using people who had only been on a short course to learn how to handle the birds and they weren’t competent. The Chairman of the Hawk Board was concerned about the practice and felt the hunts were bringing their sport into disrepute. Also a fox was not a recognised quarry and if an eagle caught a fox it would not let go and the hounds could attack the eagle. It was a shambles and DEFRA had complaints about the use of birds of prey.
Reason No 6 The fox hunting fraternity like to blame their ‘sport’ as being a class issue. The Countryside Alliance is forever blaming anti-hunt supporters for waging some sort of class war. It’s a pathetic view and very outdated. The days of touching your cap as a sign of respect to the landed gentry are long gone. From the seventies onwards there has been an influx of people from urban areas who have moved into the countryside for the ‘good life’. With technology and transport available many people are able to earn a good income living in the countryside. No doubt they have undermined rural pastimes and values and eroded the domination of the wealthy over a rural society. We also need to consider the growth of public interest in wildlife conservation. Fox hunting has become a concern regarding the welfare and rights of wildlife. People are more interested in building a relationship with nature and the environment. The hunting fraternity are out of touch when they hunt wildlife for fun and any conservation they claim to do is only seen as supporting their barbaric sport.
Reason No 7 The notion that fox hunting should continue because it’s a British tradition. Hunting foxes, deer, hares and mink to death with packs of dogs as a pleasurable pursuit really does need to be confined to the past. It doesn’t have a place in modern society along with bear baiting, bull baiting, badger baiting, dog fighting and cock fighting. It’s a sad tribute to this country that even though we have laws to protect animals we still have dog fighting, cock fighting and badger baiting. It’s also very sad there is a strong link with these activities to fox hunts across the country.
Reason No 8 Fox hunting can never be a form of pest control. Hunts will maintain that fox hunting is helping farmers by controlling foxes. But where foxes have been controlled it has been done by shooting. In 2005 DEFRA suggested better protection of farm stock rather than trying to control foxes would be more successful and cost protective.
Reason No 9 Cubbing is the dirty secret of fox hunting and even supporters find it disgusting. Yet shame on them for turning their backs on a callous and brutally cruel activity. This activity is usually carried out in the early morning or evening during August to October. The hunts assemble near a wooded area or crop fields where they know there are fox cubs. The hounds are let loose to find the cubs. Hunt supporters on foot and on horses surround the area so when frightened cubs try to escape from the hounds they make loud noises to scare the cubs to go back to the hounds. Defenceless cubs are torn to shreds by the hounds with no cubs surviving. Apparently it’s a method of training young hounds to recognize the smell and taste of fox. It’s just a blatant unjustified slaughter of our wildlife because hunting foxes with a pack of dogs is illegal! Even the young hounds risk slaughter by the huntsmen if they are deemed not to be ‘savage’ enough. This isn’t ‘sport’. It’s a criminal as well as unethical activity and is breaking the law!
Reason No 10 Hounds spread bovine TB but the government has no interest in checking hunt hounds for bTB. In December 2016, the Kimblewick Hunt’s pack of hounds were found to be infected with bTB. Of the 164 hounds tested, 97 had evidence of being bTB infected and these dogs were removed and euthanised. Apparently the kennels were described as “suboptimal”. This meant the hounds were kept in unhygienic, overcrowded and dilapidated conditions. The hunt take the hounds across a large number of farms in different counties and this should have been a concern. But DEFRA basically weren’t interested in what was likely to be a large number of foxhounds running across farmland all over the UK. Their excuse was bTB was not a ‘notifiable disease in dogs’ and therefore they were unable to verify how many hounds had been put down. Interestingly Lord Gardner of Kimble, an honorary member of the Kimblewick Hunt, served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DEFRA from 17 July 2016 to January 2018. There has never been any blame put on hounds for spreading bTB yet every year since 2013 tens of thousands of badgers are culled for spreading bTB when there has been no conclusive evidence. The Badger Cull has been a huge costly barbaric travesty that the Conservatives have waged against our wildlife.
Reason No 11 Why do fox hunts allow their hounds to hunt on or near railway lines? There have been numerous reports of hunts in the last 15 years deliberately hunting on or near railway lines. First question is why would any law abiding hunt put a trail there for hounds to follow? Well they wouldn’t would they. But the number of hounds killed near railway lines and the number of human lives that can be put in jeopardy beggars belief!
Reason No 12 There are good reasons for hunt kennels to be checked and regulated.
There have been numerous reports of hunt kennels being dirty and dilapidated. The RSPCA has called for the regulation of these kennels but the Government has not responded because they say ‘hunt kennels are exempt as they are not considered to be a commercial enterprise”. Obviously the hunting fraternity are not interested in the animal welfare of their hounds. Yet numerous hunts have been blatantly operating as a commercial enterprise by winning local council grants and taking advantage of taxpayer-backed schemes to get loans during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Reason No 13 Fox hunt members and supporters are renowned for assaulting Hunt Monitors and Hunt Saboteurs.
You can watch the horrific assaults and attacks by hunt members and supporters on videos, on the local news, in local and national papers and the evidence given in court rooms. In the past two Hunt Sabs have been killed by huntsmen. That’s how far they have been prepared to go to prevent the torture and killing of our wildlife. At the same time the hunting fraternity and the ex-policemen they employ have done their very best to describe Hunt Monitors and Sabs as violent gangs armed with ‘staves and balaclavas’! It has been confirmed that almost all Hunt Sab arrests have been for ‘Breach of the Peace’ or more recently ‘Aggravated Trespass’. The terrible crime of blowing a hunting horn in a field or spraying lemon oil in a wood to deter foxes from being shredded alive by a pack of hounds hardly compares with the vicious attacks and assaults by huntsmen and their supporters. A recent example in 2019 reveals the Belvoir hunt paid £37,500 in damages to a Hunt Monitor who was monitoring the hunt. He was attacked by 4 men dressed in black who broke his neck when he was pushed off a ledge. His colleague filming the hunt was also injured and was paid £11,000 in damages. Hunt Saboteurs wear balaclavas to hide their identity from the huntsmen and their supporters who will endeavour to find out where they live and work to harass them and damage their property.
Reason No 14 There is scientific evidence that foxes suffer physical and mental stress when hunted by a pack of hounds.
Pro fox hunting people always refute that foxes suffer physical and mental stress and that the evidence will be undoubtedly based on emotion not fact. Anti fox hunting people will claim that chasing a fox to the point of exhaustion and allowing a pack of dogs to rip the fox to shreds before it has died, for sport, is inhumane! The Burns report also concluded that hunting with a pack of hounds caused animal suffering “both during the latter stages of the chase and at the kill.
Reason No 15 Fox hunts are renowned for capturing and rearing foxes purely for hunting.
The best way to find out about what goes on in fox hunting is to talk to former huntsmen and terriermen. Many give up because of the abuse to live foxes ordered by the hunt masters which they are unable to stomach any longer. Bagging foxes alive to keep them for special hunts. Cutting a fox’s paws before it was released to slow it down on the chase. Throwing live cubs to hungry hounds in their kennels. Moving cubs to another area to aid cub hunting. Tying a fox in a sack to a tree branch to allow hounds to jump up and bite it. Then the terrified fox would sweat and urinate letting off a powerful smell. The fox would then be tied up and dragged across fields to leave a scent. Plus many other scenarios.
Reason No 16 Hunts employ staff to block up badger setts to stop foxes escaping underground.
The 1992 Protection of Badgers Act made it a criminal offence to damage, destroy, obstruct or disturb a badger sett. But Hunt Monitors record hundreds of setts being blocked to stop foxes, especially on the days local hunts are out with packs of hounds. In 2018 the BBC quoted Tim Easby, director of the MFHA at the time, as saying blocking setts “promotes hunting within the law and in accordance with the Hunting Act 2004.” Yet it is illegal to block access to an active badger sett in England and Wales under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Therefore is absolutely no reason to block any setts or earths! Another example of the hunting fraternity to mislead the British public!
Reason No 17 Fox hunts claim hounds kill foxes quickly by a bite to the back of the neck.
The hunting fraternity insist a pack of hounds kill a fox by a quick nip to the back of the neck and that kills it outright. Really? Listen to a pack of hounds descending on one fox. The noise is sickening! Autopsies have revealed foxes are not killed quickly. They have to endure tears and bites to their sides and hindquarters which obviously cause suffering before death. When they go to ground to evade a pack of hounds the terriermen send their terrier dogs underground and again foxes suffer from the nasty bites to the face, head and neck from the dogs. When the dog is called off and the fox is dug out they are supposed to be shot. But ex-hunters and ex-supporters claim they are usually thrown to the hounds alive to be ripped to shreds before they die. The terrier dogs can also be badly injured underground.
Reason No 18 Fox hunts cause a lot of upset to livestock on farms.
Hounds will cross any land to chase their prey so it is not surprising that they can cause havoc with livestock. Ewes can abort lambs. Lambs can be ravaged by hounds. Cattle are frightened and can bolt and calves are terrified unable to get out of their field pursued by a pack of howling hounds. Why do farmers have to put up with this atrocious activity? Many onlookers say the huntsmen just watch and don’t get involved. Obviously their hounds are out of control and they can do nothing to stop them. It’s outrageous and farmers are struggling enough without the hunts allowing a pack of hounds on their land.
Reason No 19 Fox hunts claim 6,000-8,000 full time jobs depend on hunting activities The shooting industry and the hunting industry come out with the most interesting statistics on how their ‘sports’ provide full time jobs for people. But where is the evidence? How are the statistics compiled? Hunts on the one hand claim not to be commercial enterprises but on the other hand they pay wages and claim grants from local councils and in 2020 some hunts have applied for a business loan on good terms. So what are they? A business or a club?
Reason No 20 Fox hunts kill many pets on private property as well as dogs being walked on leads.
There are countless incidents where fox hounds have killed domestic pets. There are videos and reports of pets being chased and attacked by fox hounds all over the country. Sometimes the hounds chase and attack cats and dogs when out on exercise. Basically huntsmen and hunt staff are frequently not in control of the hounds when out hunting or exercising them. Yet the hunting fraternity continue to deny their hounds don’t attack, chase or hunt pets. Apparently hounds won’t chase and attack a cat because it’s trained to kill foxes! But then why are hounds being trained to kill foxes when it is illegal! It’s a nonsense whilst peoples’ beloved domestic pets are killed by packs of dogs on their owners’ properties or out being walked on a lead.
Reason No 21 Fox hunt members are renowned for being intoxicated while riding horses, driving quad bikes and other vehicles. Huntsmen have been found to be too drunk to stay on their horse and have attended court in front of a judge. Yes it is illegal under Section 12, Licensing Act 1872 to be drunk in charge of a horse. Hip flasks containing a variety of strong alcohol are commonly carried by hunt supporters, terriermen and hunt staff. They make no effort to be discreet when swigging booze from their flasks as it’s considered to be part of a good day out. Some may drink alcohol for bravery to face the hunt ahead but this ‘boozy style’ can be reckless, dangerous and breaks the law especially when driving quad bikes and vehicles following the hunt on the road.
Reason No 22 Why do private landowners have to take legal action to keep hunts off their land? Let’s be clear. Hunts have no right to enter privately-owned lands without permission. It is also unacceptable for them to claim they didn’t know that your lands and property are private and preserved. But hunts will still trespass on your land because their hounds are there to hunt foxes and they cannot control them causing havoc as they run across your property. People can complain to their MP, Parish Councillors, County Councillors and the Police. They can put up ‘No Hunting’ signs, write to the hunts and warn them not come on to your land, put a piece in the local paper and get advice. But hunting foxes is illegal and trails are not going to be put down on your land so why do property owners have to put up with hunts coming across their land?
Reason No 23 Life of a foxhound
Fox hunts treat their hounds as killing machines however they want to describe their affection for them. The RSPCA has called for regulation of hunt kennels because they are aware of some hunt kennels being dirty, dilapidated and overcrowded. Thousands of hounds are slaughtered every year if they are weak as puppies, have no interest in killing foxes or have been unproductive in later years. Former huntswoman told the Mirror newspaper that hounds are killed with a bullet in the head or clubbed to death and then incinerated. Ex-huntsman Clifford Pellow told the newspapers that the cruelty is so horrendous with hounds being whipped frequently for making a sound it is not supposed to do, chasing the wrong animal instead of the fox and other minor ‘failures’. They are taught to be savage which is not their natural instinct. Funny how Hunt Monitors and Sabs are often seen patting and stroking hounds.
Reason No 24 It’s a myth that fox hunts “provide an essential wildlife management service”. ‘Fox farming’ is a widespread practice associated with fox hunts. The fox hunting fraternity defend it by saying that they “provide an essential wildlife management service”. It’s a joke to think that fox hunts are looking after captive foxes and cubs for their welfare. The reason they are keeping these foxes captive is so they are able to have a ready supply of foxes to hunt. This immediately throws out their claims of hunting foxes as pest control and supports their aim to continue hunting foxes with a pack of hounds. Trail hunting is more or less a smoke screen to keep on hunting foxes like they did before the ban in 2005. It’s just another form of cruelty without any justification other than the pleasure of killing wildlife by the fox hunts.
Reason No 25 Fox Hunts can cause havoc on country lanes and busy main roads.
When a pack of hounds are following a scent and running along a main road scattered amongst the traffic it has been labelled as “Hunt Havoc”. It’s a serious matter with vehicles making emergency stops and putting drivers and passengers at risk of terrible injury. Surely a trail wouldn’t have been laid along a busy main road? In these circumstances, once again, we have to acknowledge the hounds are out of control and the responsibility for this lays with the hunt who own the hounds. Hunts should not be exempt and any laws pertaining to dogs in use ‘under proper control for sporting purposes’ or just being let loose on roads for exercise should be tightened up immediately.