Search Results for: hunting office webinars

Renfrewshire Council chiefs urged to reaffirm opposition to fox hunting

The fall out from the leaked Hunting Office webinars has crossed the border into Scotland, with a report in today’s Daily Record quoting Renfrewshire Council’s elected member Audrey Doig asking the local authority to “reaffirm its position that no fox hunting activities will be allowed to occur on any land or property owned or managed by Renfrewshire Council”. Fox hunting is of course illegal in Scotland. It was banned under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, but as the campaigning charity One Kind points out, “Before the ban in 2002 there were ten operational mounted fox hunts in Scotland. There are still ten today. According to the hunts themselves, they kill about 800 foxes every year.” One of those hunts is the notorious Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Foxhounds. The Glasgow Hunt Sabs regularly report the illegal activities of this hunt on their Facebook page. This includes a savage attack in October this year on a lone hunt monitor by hunt followers (covered in the Daily Record under the headline “Disabled man viciously battered by vile blood sport thugs after he protests at Scots fox hunt”).

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H&M owner bans hunting on his estates

While we’re certainly not apologists for environmentally-disastrous ‘fast fashion’, today’s news that the ripples from the Hunting Office webinars with their tall tales of ‘smokescreens’ and ‘soft underbellies’ are continuing to swamp hunting is wonderful. Particularly because even more land is being made out of bounds to foxhunts and so-called ‘trail hunting’. According to a report on the ITV News website titled “Billionaire owner of H&M bans hunting on his huge English estate”, Stefan Persson, has banned the Vine and Craven Hunt from Ramsbury Estates which covers a combined 19,000 acres of North East Wiltshire, West Berkshire and North Hampshire. It might sound obvious, but without access to large areas of land hunts have nowhere to break the law (the Hunting Act 2004).

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Cheshire Council ‘paves way’ to ban on trail hunting

As we noted yesterday, the reverberations from the secretly-recorded Hunting Office webinars released by the Hunt Saboteurs Association in November continue to be felt. In a landmark decision Peterborough Council supported a motion to ban so-called ‘trail hunting’ on its land, stating that “This Council resolves to do everything within its legal powers to prevent trail hunting, exempt hunting, hound exercise and hunt meets on its land”. And now Councillors at Cheshire West and Chester Council have backed a similar motion that paves the way for a ban, voting to devise a new policy reflecting the “damage” caused by so-called ‘trail hunting’

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Peterborough Council bans foxhunting

Reverberations from the secretly-recorded Hunting Office webinars released by the Hunt Saboteurs Association in November continue to be felt. While the police investigate their contents (presumably to check for conspiracy to break the law or misconduct in a public office), major landowning organisations and charities from the National Trust and Forestry England to United Utilities and the Lake District National Park have suspended the issuance of licences for so-called ‘trail hunting’ on their land. Now in a decision that will hopefully be picked up in the same way that northern councils have increasingly banned moorland burning by gamekeepers, last night Peterborough City Council voted on a motion submitted by Labour and Cooperative member for North ward Cllr Ansar Ali to ban hunting on their land.

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Language Matters | Smokescreen/Trail Hunting

The so-called Hunting Office was burnt badly when webinars discussing how to avoid being caught illegally fox hunting were leaked by the Hunt Saboteurs Association. An interesting element of the reaction to the webinars has been the way many of us have seized upon the word ‘smokescreen’ that was used in the webinars. The word has a literal origin as in laying down a cloud of smoke to conceal military operations, but it is more usually used now to mean “something designed to obscure, confuse, or mislead”. Several of the speakers in the webinars used the term while suggesting ways to create an element of doubt about whether, for example, a scent trail has been laid or whether a hunt had ‘accidentally’ killed a fox or not. ‘Smokescreen’ will now forever be linked with these webinars, while we’ll happily take whatever stick foxhunting hands us to poke them with, it’s worth taking a pause here because hunts have actually already been using a smokescreen for fifteen years – and that’s the very phrase ‘trail hunting’ itself.

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The Hunting Act and Badgers

As we and others have been reporting, in a scoop worthy of a national news organisation a fortnight ago the Hunt Saboteurs Association published a series of secretly-recorded ‘trail hunting’ webinars given by the so-called Hunting Office, which reveal the efforts hunting is now having to go to ‘prove’ they are following a scent trail when they go out foxhunting . The fall out from these webinars is just starting to be felt (yesterday, for example, Forestry England announced it was suspending all ‘trail hunt’ licences issued to hunts wanting to use their land) and in a timely twist on the ongoing ‘trail hunting is a smokescreen for killing foxes‘ narrative, the Badger Trust has issued a statement to highlight the links between foxhunting and the persecution of badgers. And while the government might not remember this as they slaughter hundreds of thousands of them to protect the dairy industry, Badgers are actually protected mammals.

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‘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’…

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Quorn Hunt | Arrogant, utterly deluded, or both?

You know that lockdown thing that the vast majority of us have been so, so careful not to break – you know, because we don’t want to pass on a potentially deadly disease, because infection rates only come down if we accept that we’re all ‘in this together’, because it’s unquestionably the right thing to do, because very few of us think that the law doesn’t apply to us? Yes, that lockdown. Guess what…hunt masters at the ‘prestigious (though we would typically use ‘renowned’) Quorn Hunt appear to believe that absolutely none of that applies to them…How else to explain the utterly imbecilic behaviour of two of the Quorn’s hunt masters who got all dressed up to break lockdown and actually recorded themselves cheering on their hounds scrabbling around a foxhole or badger sett.

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