Tag: hunting office webinars

Hunting Office | No foxhunting before 29th March

The so-called Hunting Office (which ‘runs’ fox hunting out of its HQ in Cirencester, and which was burnt badly when webinars discussing how to use ‘smokescreens’ to avoid being caught hunting were leaked by the Hunt Saboteurs Association) has been quiet of late – presumably a combination of not wanting to mess up again now that one of its webinar guests is due in court for “intentionally encouraging or assisting others to commit an offence under the Hunting Act 2004”, and the welcome fact that hunting has been temporarily shut down during the current lockdown (something it inexplicably avoided last time around). However a 22nd February update on their website advises “registered hunts” that “hunting activities will not resume before 29th March.  We will keep all hunts updated regarding the evolving restrictions which will be in place after that date.”

Continue reading

‘Trail-hunting’ – following the trail all the way to court…

The fall out from the leaked Hunting Office webinars (an online meeting discussing how to avoid being caught foxhunting leaked by the Hunt Saboteurs Association) continues with some remarkable news that broke today: Mark Hankinson, the Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA – the Governing Body of sticking two fingers up to the law whoops, we mean of course “for registered packs of Foxhounds”) will be charged in court in March with intentionally encouraging or assisting others to commit an offence under the Hunting Act 2004, contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crimes Act 2007. Foxhunting is a stubborn little virus, but this is, without doubt, a massive blow to a group of people who have routinely and deliberately broken the law every week since the Hunting Act came into force. It’s too early to say hunting won’t recover, of course, but kudos to the police for taking the investigation seriously and – of course – kudos again to the Hunt Sabs for getting these highly-incriminating video files online in the first place.

Continue reading

Glastonbury Festival bans hunt stewards

“We can confirm that this group will not be stewarding at Glastonbury in the future, and that we have fully vetted our list of stewarding groups to ensure that there are no other hunting organisations represented on it.” Excellent news as fox hunting takes yet another hit. Glastonbury Festival has scrambled to respond to an avalanche of adverse comments on social media by no longer employing members of the notorious Mendip Farmers Hunt as stewards, who in the past had been working alongside (presumably unknowing) teams from Oxfam and Greenpeace. The link with Glastonbury – which has always sold itself as ‘green’ despite founder Michael Eavis’s well-documented support for the badger cull – was detailed after a member of the hunt lost a memory stick which included details of all current hunt members and its financial statements. The fees previously paid to the hunt stewards by the festival had effectively been subsidising the hunt itself. As meeting minutes also found on the memory stick show, the Hunt is in a financially poor state and already lamenting the loss of income the pandemic was causing them, a situation that all hunts must be facing as more and more ‘dates’ are cancelled and riding out fees lost.

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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”).

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

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’

Continue reading