Search Results for: hunting office webinars

Hunting Office webinars | Open letter from Action Against Foxhunting

“We urge you not to forget the real issue is that these webinars confirmed that you, as landowners, have been played, misled and lied to. THIS is the key point to come out of the webinar – that hunts break the law week in, week out – and you have been complicit in this.” This is an excerpt from an excellent open letter sent by the campaign group Action Against Foxhunting (AAF) “to all landowners and managers who allow “trail hunting” to take place” on their land”. It is yet more fallout from the self-inflicted wounds caused by last month’s leaked Hunting Office webinars (with their talk of ‘smokescreens’ and the ‘soft underbelly’ of terriers being taken out on so-called ‘trail hunts’) which includes a police investigation, a panning in the national media, and councils and major charities banning fox hunting on their land. AAF suggest that this open letter should be shared far and wide. We have no hesitation in recommending that.

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Hunting Office webinars | Why has ‘trail hunting’ been suspended?

The secretly-recorded and leaked Hunting Office webinars, uploaded to the internet by the Hunt Saboteurs Association two weeks ago, continue to cause huge problems for proponents of so-called ‘trail hunting’ as the number of major landowners banning hunts continue to grow. What follows is pure speculation, but we’re idly wondering why they’ve suspended licences so quickly? All five organisations have been quoted saying that they have suspended licences while the police investigations of the webinars are ongoing. That’s an odd reason to give really. Hunts sabs and monitors will (rightly) say that police investigations can take years and the interview rooms down at the local nicks will have been barely warmed up yet, so what’s going on…?

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Hunting Office webinars | National Trust suspends ‘trail hunting’ licences

The once seemingly impervious walls that fox hunting had built around itself with the invention of so-called ‘trail hunting’ are crumbling fast. Following on from the decision to suspend ‘trail hunting’ by Forestry England because of the secretly-recorded and leaked Hunting Office webinars, the National Trust has just announced that they too have paused ‘trail hunting’ on their land and will not be issuing any licences for the remainder of the season (which ends in March). This is another huge blow for illegal fox hunting. A highly respected charity has taken another look at ‘trail hunting’ and decided that – at the moment at least – it wants nothing at all to do with it.

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Hunting Office webinars | Forestry England suspend ‘trail hunting’ licences

The fall-out from the leaked/secretly recorded Hunting Office ‘trail hunting’ webinars is beginning to look rather like an avalanche: the snowball that started the whole thing may have taken some time to roll down the slope, but boy is it picking up pace now. News outlets took some time to carefully go over the material and come to their conclusions, but stories began to appear, first off in The Canary (‘Leaked webinar catches retired police chief advocating a ‘smokescreen’ to help fox hunters’) on the 18th, followed by The Times and others, and most damningly early morning yesterday on the ITV news website. Now both The Telegraph and ITV News are tonight reporting another blow to the hunts: Forestry England have suspended licences for ‘trail hunting’.

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Hunting Office webinars | Police investigating

As we (and everyone else interested in the demise of fox hunting – and yes, we know it’s illegal already but hundreds of hunts go out thousands of times a ‘season’ using the smokescreen of so-called ‘trail hunting’) reported last week, the so-called Hunting Office, which ‘runs’ fox hunting out of its HQ in Cirencester, was burnt badly when webinars discussing how to avoid being caught hunting were leaked by the Hunt Saboteurs Association. There has now been an interesting development, according to a series of tweets started by a well-known activist with the Twitter handle @herbieharry. A well-aimed tweet asking why no police action seems to have been taken was responded to by Paul Netherton OBE, Deputy Chief Constable for Devon & Cornwall Police and picked up by Hunt Watch UK.

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Wiltshire | Hunting Office seeking to influence Police and Crime Commissioner elections?

According to a new website called ‘Hunting Leaks’ (which was set up to help instigate multiple GDPR claims against the Countryside Alliance, a fascinating story in itself and well worth reading), the Hunting Office (the infamous ‘leaking like a sieve’ hunting coordinators that developed a series of seminars designed to help fox hunts make themselves appear legitimate – fifteen years after the Hunting Act came into force) are apparently raising funds to influence outcomes in the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections. We know this because Hunting Leaks has provided a link to the minutes of a Hunting Office meeting where this was discussed last year. So what to make of the Hunting Office raising funds to help get people like, for example, Jonathon Seed into office? Mr Seed was until relatively recently the only candidate standing for the role of PCC in Wiltshire, a largely rural county with a large number of active fox hunts. Including the Avon Vale Hunt (which often hunt around Lacock in Wiltshire) – of which Mr Seed is a former huntmaster…

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Cheshire West | ‘Trail Hunting’ to go under the microscope

Cheshire West and Chester Council has announced plans to set up a cross-party group to examine ‘trail hunting’ in detail. The move has been heavily criticised by a number of Conservatives on the group (apparently because they appear to think the Council can only concentrate on one thing at a time), but – reaching for the pro-hunt lobbyist playbook – has been welcomed by the pro-hunt lobby group ‘Countryside Alliance’: they are quoted in the report below saying that, “the local rural and trail hunting communities would hope to be able to provide input for this group to maintain balance and ensure it is not driven by prejudice”. The CA are evidently trying to appear ‘reasonable’ (a bit difficult after 15 years of slamming the Hunting Act and denigrating the many pro-wildlife members of those same rural communities). They may think that’s the clever option, but as they may learn, once statements have been put on the record they can come back and bite you. If “the local rural and trail hunting communities” were to detail exactly what they do (or more importantly list exactly what they know that they can and can’t do under the Hunting Act), it would be extremely hard to defend themselves if they were then subsequently caught out hunting again. The CA may just be giving local hunts enough rope to hang themselves with…

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National Lockdown | Hunting Season on hold

It’s official – at least, even the self-important so-called ‘Hunting Office’ (of leaked webinar infamy, and which says it is “the executive arm of the Governing bodies for Hunting with hounds” – which of course the Hunting Act 2004 says is illegal), has acknowledged that fox hunting is on hold while the laws governing the latest national lockdown are in place. Could this mean the end of fox hunting entirely? Hunts are under huge pressure (both financially and from constant monitoring), and the public is more and more aware of the widespread and organised criminality that is rife within fox hunting, but many fox hunters are used to breaking the law and feel impervious. While they certainly could usefully spend the time changing from fox hunting to drag hunting (which is entirely legal and does not involve killing animals) they will be back, but every ‘season’ sees hunts fold and this is probably the best chance in years to finally get this barabaric, cruel, and illegal activity shut down for good. We have an idea to help that happen…

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