Tynedale Hunt | Hounds left alpacas ‘traumatised’

This is a tale of everyday countryside activities (at least, everyday when so-called ‘trail hunting’ is involved) but there is something here we all need to consider: one of these people – how can we put this politely, is being economical with the actualité. So, according to a report on the BBC, Teri White, an alpaca breeder in Northumberland, is claiming that hounds from the Tynedale Hunt had got on to her land near Hexham on three occasions, chasing “newly-weaned alpacas into a corner, terrifying them”. A hunt spokesperson, on the other hand, claim that “a few hounds did “drift” on to the land but did not chase or harm any animals”. Which are two very different things indeed. Hmm, it’s just so difficult to say who is the more believable, eh…

Continue reading

Wild Justice | ‘What gamekeepers do’

Wild Justice, the campaigning organisation that stands up for wildlife using the legal system and seeking changes to existing laws, have just mailed a hugely important press-release which looks at changes to the law impacting the role of gamekeepers which take effect in 2021. The primary role of gamekeepers is not – as lobbyists like to tell us – ‘conservation’, it is killing any wildlife that their employers (the shooting industry) claim will impact their profits. This killing, which if you or I were to do it would see us breaking the law, has been allowed under the ‘barely-there’ terms of the government-issued General Licences. The terms of these licences have always been heavily loaded in favour of shooting, and heavily against native wildlife – especially foxes, mustelids (particularly stoats and weasels), Mountain Hares, and corvids (members of the crow family: Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow, Rook, and Raven – the very rare Chough is still fully protected).

Continue reading

Guest Post | ‘Gamebirds’ – Evading protection in law

“How is it that artificially-reared ‘gamebirds’ such as pheasants, commercially produced under industrial conditions, in no meaningful sense ‘wild’, and claimed to be reared for food, manage to evade the potential protections of both the Animal Welfare Act and of welfare at slaughter – regulations that society expects should apply to any other animal that meets these criteria?…Were they to be fully subject to such protections then, of course, their shooting for ‘sport’ would not be possible. This bizarre legal sleight of hand removes protection for pheasants in particular from major welfare harms, caused directly by their artificial rearing, by falsely representing them as wild and outside human control or responsibility.” Guest post.

Continue reading

A quick note to Alexander Armstrong

Now, we’re always aware at The War on Wildlife Project that we don’t have the authority to speak for any particular pro-wildlife side or group other than our own (though we have been around a lot of pro-wildlife folks for a very long time), but, ‘Xander’, you’re really missing the point. In our eyes, so-called ‘country sports’ is nothing more than killing birds and mammals that a great many of us cherish and love, and there is no difference at all between so-called ‘country sports’ and the ‘sportsmen’ who take part in it. You don’t get one without the other, do you? There is no separation here, ‘Xander’, so-called ‘country sports’ IS the people who shoot and hunt and maim and harm and kill. You are one and the same. We don’t know you, ‘Xander’, but you identify yourself as a shooter and we have seen statements like yours a thousand times, been ‘huntsplained’ to a thousand times, given that peculiarly patronising, supercilious down-the-nose look that says ‘Oh, poor you, you’ve never been shooting, have you’ a thousand times. We know what’s behind your question, ‘Xander’, and you don’t get to imply that we’re dishonest or insincere when we have been nothing but honest and sincere about our love of wildlife…

Continue reading

Kimblewick | Police investigate claims of illegal fox hunting

A few days ago the notorious Kimblewick Hunt were filmed on cctv cameras killing a fox on a private estate. The footage – boosted by an interview with the property owners by ITV News reporter Rupert Evelyn – was taken from a number of angles and is unequivocal. The Hunt (of course) made the usual noises – sorry, out of control, nothing to do with us guv – though, as we noted two days ago, one of the huntsman involved seemed unconcerned, writing all about the joyful ride out on which the fox was killed for the hunting magazine Horse and Hound 9while leaving out the incriminating details of course). ITV News is today reporting that police are investigating the incident “under the Hunting Act (2004) and are appealing for information”. It is pretty bloody obvious from the video what happened here, and if the officers involved are fed up with hunts pissing them about by breaking both the Hunting Act and covid regulations you just never know. We’ll keep our fingers crossed anyway…

Continue reading

‘Out of Control’ | Another pet killed by hunt hounds

As bad a couple of months as this has been for fox hunting (including the leaked Hunting office webinars with their talk of ‘smokescreens’ and ‘soft underbelly’, landowners and private individuals banning hunts from huge areas of the countryside, councils finally seeing through the lie that is so-called ‘trail hunting’), it’s been even worse for the animals that the hunts have illegally chased, harassed, and killed despite the Hunting Act (and lockdown). We’ll never know how many animals ‘out of control’ hunt hounds have killed this ‘season’ so far (and that’s despite the heroic efforts of monitors and hunt sabs to steer wildlife to safety week in, week out), but mainstream journalists are now at least reporting some of the horrors inflicted on animals by the ‘hooligans on horseback’…

Continue reading

Kimblewick huntsman: ‘best antidote to lockdown blues’

On December 26th ITV News aired footage of the Kimblewick Hunt entering private property and killing a fox. ITV’s footage came from cc cameras and was clear and unequivocal. We reported the event at ITV News shows Kimblewick Hunt killing a fox. On Twitter today the Peterborough Hunt Saboteurs have linked to a Horse and Hound article written by Andrew Sallis, a Kimblewick hunt master. Mr Sallis is described by Horse and Hound as a ‘hunting columnist’. Not a writer about horses, or the countryside, or the joys of being out and about – about ‘hunting’. Fox hunting is of course illegal. yet hunting (which everyone and their dog knows refers to fox hunting) has an official ‘office’, it has a ‘hunting season’, and it has ‘columnists’ (and judging by Mr Sallis’s efforts there isn’t much required to be one of those except perhaps for a gift for hinting at the truth without actually shaking hands with it)…

Continue reading

ITV News shows Kimblewick Hunt killing a fox

Fox hunting has been in full-on recovery mode after the Hunt Saboteurs Association leaked webinars hosted by the ludicrous Hunting Office which talked of ‘smokescreens’ and the hunts’ accursed terrier men being the ‘soft underbelly’ of pro-wildlife claims that so-called ‘trail hunting’ is just an excuse to get around the Hunting Act 2004 (see – Hunts on the Run). With an increasingly angry public watching fox hunts ignoring Covid-19 tier restrictions (even after being granted exceptions to the ‘Rule of Six’ the rest of the country suffered through), even the most tone-deaf of fox hunting lobbyists knew that Boxing Day fox hunts (when hunts traditionally stick two fingers up to pro-wildlife members of the public and flaunt how little has really changed since 2004) needed to be at least seen to be doing the right thing…Clearly, though, the notorious Oxford-based Kimblewick Hunt – no strangers to a bit of lawbreaking – didn’t get the memo and ended up just where they didn’t want to be: on national television, their hounds filmed killing a fox…

Continue reading