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HUNT THE HUNTERS: Foxes still hunted and killed in UK after blood-sport was banned 15 years ago

The UK Hunting Act is rarely enforced by police. So, aside from the presence of hunt saboteurs, there is no real need for hunters to change their behavior and fall in line with the law.

JOE ROBERTS: ‘Foxes are still being hunted and killed 15 years ago after the bloodsport was banned, activists have claimed. The Hunting Act came into force on February 18, 2005, putting an end to a centuries-old tradition of hunting foxes with hounds. But protesters and hunt saboteurs up and down the country claim foxes are still being chased and mauled to death by packs of dogs, while police forces have failed to crackdown on alleged illegal hunting. The Hunt Saboteurs Association said there was a reduction in their numbers after the ban as ‘everybody thought hunting had been abolished’. But there was a ‘massive upsurge’ in activists once people ‘realised it had not gone away’, spokesperson Lee Moon told Metro.co.uk. He said: ‘As hunt saboteurs, we see widespread law-breaking every time we go out in the countryside. ‘Almost all hunts flout the law. It’s not the exception we see them hunting. It’s what they do every time they go out…

Mr Moon claims hunters have become ‘emboldened’ since Boris Johnson’s victory in the general election, adding: ‘They know they have a Conservative government that doesn’t care about hunting, and is never going to enforce the act.’ Outside of politics, Mr Moon said there has been a big shift in society, with many Brits choosing a vegan lifestyle. He added: ‘People are becoming generally more compassionate and the majority know fox hunting has no place in a modern society, and it will gradually die out. Alec Holland, a hunt saboteur based in Manchester, said hunts are a ‘lot more cloak and dagger about their activities now’…

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘Hunt meets used to be published in Horse & Hound magazine et cetera. ‘But other than that they still continue to hunt as before. ‘I think public opinion and the constant presence of saboteurs and monitors has forced them underground in a sense. ‘The hunting act is rarely enforced, and police are not trained on it, so aside from the presence of saboteurs, there is no real need for them to change their behaviour to fall in line with the hunting act’…

Tim Bonner, chief executive of the pro-hunting organisation Countryside Alliance, said… ‘The intention of the Hunting Act was to frustrate rural communities; yet today hundreds of registered hunts continue to operate across the UK and enjoy support from a wide range of people. Meets continue to be attended by thousands of people and remain a signature part of Christmas and New Year festivities. Registered hunts continue to work within the law and within their communities, contributing to charities and local action projects including conservation and litter picking’.’  SOURCE…

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