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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The National Trust and Trail Hunting 2021

There is no such thing as so-called ‘trail hunting’. It was invented by fox hunts after the passing of the Hunting Act 2004 (which banned hunting with hounds) and is a smokescreen for illegal fox hunting – even the Masters of Foxhounds Association seems to agree with that. Hunts up and down the country routinely break the law, cause chaos on main roads, use violence against monitors (who are only present to stop wildlife crime taking place), lose control of their hounds, and use terrier men to illegally block or interfere with badger setts. Hunting can sue us if it can prove otherwise – it can’t, and it won’t anyway because the last thing it wants is to have its filthy laundry dragged through the courts…So why does the National Trust, one of the nation’s most respected conservation charities and one of its largest landowners, allow so-called ‘trail hunting? Because its Chair (and soon to be former Chair) used proxy votes at the Trust’s AGM in 2017 to vote down a proposal that the National Trust should stop issuing licences to hunts to use their land. The Trust has been forced to explain its highly contrary position of protecting wildlife while facilitating hunting ever since, referring questions on social media to the disingenuous “Our position on Trail Hunting” page on its website.

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Guest Post | Dominic Dyer: Fox hunting – political poison for the Tory Party

“Fox hunting is now political poison for the government. Covid 19 and the restrictions on public gatherings has caused huge financial damage to hunts in England, and many might not survive the pandemic. Those that do will find themselves increasingly shunned by public and politicians alike as they face increasing restrictions on their hunting activities. Like drink driving, hunting with hounds is no longer socially acceptable to the vast majority of people in Britain. The last 17 years has seen many twists and turns in the debate on fox hunting, but we might soon be able to say we have “Made Hunting History” once and for all.” Guest post by Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor & British Wildlife Advocate at the Born Free Foundation & Board Member at Wildlife & Countryside Link.

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Guest Post | Hunting on Protected Sites – Another Natural England Cover Up?

“In October 2020 I saw a pack of hunting dogs rampaging over open moorland above Bradfield, South Yorkshire. Almost all Pennine moors are designated as conservation areas, administered by Natural England, the key Government adviser for nature and the environment. Bradfield Moors is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area for ground nesting birds and a Special Area of Conservation for rare blanket bog habitat. The landowner has banned the public from taking dogs onto this moor because of the threat to wildlife, so what was going on? I will be appealing to Natural England and the Information Commissioner to find out why enforcement action was not taken and ask Olivia Blake MP to get on the case as well. In my opinion, this is yet another example of Natural England overlooking illegal activity by rich landowners.” Guest post by Bob Berzins

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