Hunting is in a spot of bother

Tiddlypom

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It's promising, Clodagh, but the wording ..... It's not a "perception" that not all hunts are operating within the law, it's a fact and they would do well to acknowledge that.
Agree. I would be much more impressed with this if the Hunting Office statement didn't keep harking on about the 'perception' that not all hunting activity is legitimate. C'mon guys, we all know that a considerable amount of hunting activity is currently not legitimate.

'The most urgent challenge facing us is perception that not all hunting activity is legitimate and that not all hunts are operating to the highest standards. That perception could in future lead to further legislation restricting trail hunting and other use of hounds, and it is also having a practical impact right now on hunting’s relationship with institutional and private landowners, the police and politicians.'

Anyone know if there's truth in what the antis are saying re that the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles Director has been sacked, and that the Hunting Office Director has stood down?
 

Wishfilly

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I know this is just one incident, and it's not reflective of all hunts but : https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hunt-master-fined-after-dogs-25668956

Even before we start talking about whether some hunts hunt fox still (they do), when hounds are killing family pets, it's a perception that all hunts are "not operating to the highest standards" is it? The hounds were legally "dangerously out of control".

I think hunting bodies need to be really, really honest with themselves, and accept that perhaps some hunts can have a massive negative impact on the perception of all.
 

GoldenWillow

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It's promising, Clodagh, but the wording ..... It's not a "perception" that not all hunts are operating within the law, it's a fact and they would do well to acknowledge that.
.
That's the bit that immediately stood out to me and made me wonder if anything is ever likely to change. I think until it is acknowledged that illegal hunting is being carried out by registered packs nothing will change. It makes me wonder if all they are wanting to do is change the "perception" and not the reality.

Eta it mentions "correcting the perception" and that the perception is already impacting hunting's relationship regarding landowners etc. It wasn't the perception that led to the hunt not being allowed on land around here it was continually going on land that they had been asked not to and being rude and abusive to LO partner as they didn't realise who she was.
 
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SilverLinings

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It sounds as though they finally realise they need to change or risk loosing (legal) trail hunting (and possibly other forms of riding/working with hounds) completely. It is very unfortunate that the wording seems to imply that they don't realise quite how big the problem is, or quite how strongly a lot of the general public feel about it. I hope that the word 'perception' was just poorly chosen (maybe to placate some of the old guard who don't actually accept when they are wrong), and that they do manage to police themselves in a far more robust and trustworthy way going forwards, or they will indeed loose the sport entirely, and annoy a lot of other people in the process of doing so.
 

Wishfilly

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It's interesting reading the statement more carefully that they perhaps do acknowledge that some of the people running hunts in some cases have acted irresponsibly or unsafely- they don't quite come out and say this, but I think the bit about allowing "just anyone" to take a pack of hounds out into the countryside is an interesting statement.

However, they obviously can't force hunts to join their new organisations- so the concern must be what if some of the worst offenders choose to stay outside their governing body, and continue to operate as they are?

I actually think much of the spirit of the statement is good, but either, to encourage all hunts to join, they'll turn a blind eye to some pretty dangerous behaviour still (and probably illegal hunting) OR they will be strict, and then some hunts may not join?
 

CrunchieBoi

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Bit more about that from The Hunting Office.

https://thehuntingoffice.org.uk/news


Update from the MFHA Chairman
Hunting is both the most extraordinary and frustrating of activities. Whether running a day’s hunting, a hunt or the Masters of Foxhounds Association (and I have now done all three) nothing ever seems to be straightforward, but when things do work out the results make all the pain of delivering them rapidly fade away. Very few things can equal the glory of a wonderful pack of hounds taking their line across country, but we must not forget either the key role that hunts play in the management of the countryside and the life of rural communities.
That is why, despite the huge challenges that have faced hunting over the years, we have always fought to retain its essence. And that is also why hunting has adapted to address the existential threats that it has faced whether it was the coming of the railways, the invention of barbed wire, or the Hunting Act, all of which were seen by some as ‘the end’ of hunting. That is also why, despite the challenges it faces at the moment, I am certain that hunting can adapt to meet the changing demands of society and the modern countryside and that it has a bright future.
The most urgent challenge facing us is perception that not all hunting activity is legitimate and that not all hunts are operating to the highest standards. That perception could in future lead to further legislation restricting trail hunting and other use of hounds, and it is also having a practical impact right now on hunting’s relationship with institutional and private landowners, the police and politicians. It is clear that we need a change in the way hunting is run to give all stakeholders confidence that we are operating legitimately.
To that end we have carried out a consultation with members and a review. It has been suggested and widely accepted that the hunting associations should step back from the overall governance and supervision of hunting. Instead, we are aiming to have two separate organisations.
Firstly, a single inclusive new body to undertake governance of all hunting activities. This Governing Body will be responsible for setting the standards and rules to which all members and member hunts must adhere.
Secondly, a separate Regulatory Authority to administer all regulation and disciplinary matters for members and member hunts, according to the rules set by the Governing Body.
Membership of the Governing Body will be inclusive and representative of the whole hunting community and all associations ,all hunts, huntsmen and kennel huntsmen will be invited to join. Hunts, huntsmen and kennel huntsmen will be assessed and accredited to validate the high standards of hunting activities in the field and animal welfare in hunt kennels.
This is not a new idea. A detailed plan to create an Independent Supervisory Authority for Hunting was developed in the 1990s in the face of the political challenges hunting faced then. That proposal was overtaken by the Hunting Act but the principle was kept alive, not least by the late Brian Fanshawe my predecessor as master and huntsman of the Cottesmore Hounds who was a tireless promoter of high standards and credible regulation.
We are currently updating that model to fit with the demands of post-ban hunting and predominantly the regulation of trail hunting. The principles are clear; hunts must not only operate to the highest standards both in kennels and in the field, but they must be able to show that they are doing so. This may sound complicated and bureaucratic but, in reality, it need be neither; we cannot realistically argue that we need to be tested before we drive a car or accredited to use a chainsaw, whilst just allowing anyone to take a pack of hounds out into the countryside. Our reputation relies on every one of us upholding high standards and we simply cannot leave that to chance any longer. Our mantra must be that ‘nothing less than excellent is acceptable’.
Importantly, correcting the perception of hunting will not only ease the immediate challenges facing us. It will also create an opportunity to promote hunting and the good it does in the countryside. With our colleagues at the Countryside Alliance, we will be able to focus more resources on more proactive and promotional public relations. We need to get off back foot. It will be possible to communicate openly about hunting activities and work in hunt kennels, and to highlight all the environmental good that hunts do and the positive impact hunts have within the countryside. In time this may even put us in a position where we can start to unroll the legislation that has done so much harm to wildlife, the countryside and rural communities.
Our goal is the protection, promotion and preservation of our core values, and the continuation of the sport we all love, for many years to come. If we get this right the Masters and huntsmen of today will be paving the way for a new generation to carry hunting on into a new era, hunting will continue to be an intrinsic part of the modern countryside and hounds will still be the glue that binds together so many rural communities.
It is our intention to take our plans to the hunting association AGMs in early summer, so structures are in place for the start of next season.
Andrew Osborne
Chairman MFHA and Council of Hunting Associations
Published: 11th March 2022
Word salad.
 
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Bit more about that from The Hunting Office.

https://thehuntingoffice.org.uk/news


Update from the MFHA Chairman
Hunting is both the most extraordinary and frustrating of activities. Whether running a day’s hunting, a hunt or the Masters of Foxhounds Association (and I have now done all three) nothing ever seems to be straightforward, but when things do work out the results make all the pain of delivering them rapidly fade away. Very few things can equal the glory of a wonderful pack of hounds taking their line across country, but we must not forget either the key role that hunts play in the management of the countryside and the life of rural communities.
That is why, despite the huge challenges that have faced hunting over the years, we have always fought to retain its essence. And that is also why hunting has adapted to address the existential threats that it has faced whether it was the coming of the railways, the invention of barbed wire, or the Hunting Act, all of which were seen by some as ‘the end’ of hunting. That is also why, despite the challenges it faces at the moment, I am certain that hunting can adapt to meet the changing demands of society and the modern countryside and that it has a bright future.
The most urgent challenge facing us is perception that not all hunting activity is legitimate and that not all hunts are operating to the highest standards. That perception could in future lead to further legislation restricting trail hunting and other use of hounds, and it is also having a practical impact right now on hunting’s relationship with institutional and private landowners, the police and politicians. It is clear that we need a change in the way hunting is run to give all stakeholders confidence that we are operating legitimately.
To that end we have carried out a consultation with members and a review. It has been suggested and widely accepted that the hunting associations should step back from the overall governance and supervision of hunting. Instead, we are aiming to have two separate organisations.
Firstly, a single inclusive new body to undertake governance of all hunting activities. This Governing Body will be responsible for setting the standards and rules to which all members and member hunts must adhere.
Secondly, a separate Regulatory Authority to administer all regulation and disciplinary matters for members and member hunts, according to the rules set by the Governing Body.
Membership of the Governing Body will be inclusive and representative of the whole hunting community and all associations ,all hunts, huntsmen and kennel huntsmen will be invited to join. Hunts, huntsmen and kennel huntsmen will be assessed and accredited to validate the high standards of hunting activities in the field and animal welfare in hunt kennels.
This is not a new idea. A detailed plan to create an Independent Supervisory Authority for Hunting was developed in the 1990s in the face of the political challenges hunting faced then. That proposal was overtaken by the Hunting Act but the principle was kept alive, not least by the late Brian Fanshawe my predecessor as master and huntsman of the Cottesmore Hounds who was a tireless promoter of high standards and credible regulation.
We are currently updating that model to fit with the demands of post-ban hunting and predominantly the regulation of trail hunting. The principles are clear; hunts must not only operate to the highest standards both in kennels and in the field, but they must be able to show that they are doing so. This may sound complicated and bureaucratic but, in reality, it need be neither; we cannot realistically argue that we need to be tested before we drive a car or accredited to use a chainsaw, whilst just allowing anyone to take a pack of hounds out into the countryside. Our reputation relies on every one of us upholding high standards and we simply cannot leave that to chance any longer. Our mantra must be that ‘nothing less than excellent is acceptable’.
Importantly, correcting the perception of hunting will not only ease the immediate challenges facing us. It will also create an opportunity to promote hunting and the good it does in the countryside. With our colleagues at the Countryside Alliance, we will be able to focus more resources on more proactive and promotional public relations. We need to get off back foot. It will be possible to communicate openly about hunting activities and work in hunt kennels, and to highlight all the environmental good that hunts do and the positive impact hunts have within the countryside. In time this may even put us in a position where we can start to unroll the legislation that has done so much harm to wildlife, the countryside and rural communities.
Our goal is the protection, promotion and preservation of our core values, and the continuation of the sport we all love, for many years to come. If we get this right the Masters and huntsmen of today will be paving the way for a new generation to carry hunting on into a new era, hunting will continue to be an intrinsic part of the modern countryside and hounds will still be the glue that binds together so many rural communities.
It is our intention to take our plans to the hunting association AGMs in early summer, so structures are in place for the start of next season.
Andrew Osborne
Chairman MFHA and Council of Hunting Associations
Published: 11th March 2022
I don't really understand the following:

- "we must not forget either the key role that hunts play in the management of the countryside " and also
- "to highlight all the environmental good that hunts do and the positive impact hunts have within the countryside."

What are they referring to? because this was due to fox control. As it should now not be involving a fox then what other benefits to the countryside are they providing?

Sounds like they're just telling themselves and their followers that they still think breaking the law is good because "tradition"
 
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Caol Ila

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I don't really understand the following:

- "we must not forget either the key role that hunts play in the management of the countryside " and also
- "to highlight all the environmental good that hunts do and the positive impact hunts have within the countryside."

What are they referring to? because this was due to fox control. As it should now not be involving a fox then what other benefits to the countryside are they providing?
I started a post yesterday asking this exact question, then I had the reloading problem and had to run out the door, so didn't get a chance to finish it. How are they helping manage the countryside? And what on earth are they doing for the environment? From reading posts on here, I get the impression that many people who live in hunt country see them as a pain in the a*rse due to disturbances of fields, livestock, and wildlife, rather than "having a positive impact."

Just be honest. It's fun to gallop cross-country following the hounds. Same as other equestrian sports. Dressage riders and eventers aren't arguing that their sport has a key role in managing the countryside.
 

Sandstone1

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I started a post yesterday asking this exact question, then I had the reloading problem and had to run out the door, so didn't get a chance to finish it. How are they helping manage the countryside? And what on earth are they doing for the environment? From reading posts on here, I get the impression that many people who live in hunt country see them as a pain in the a*rse due to disturbances of fields, livestock, and wildlife, rather than "having a positive impact."

Just be honest. It's fun to gallop cross-country following the hounds. Same as other equestrian sports. Dressage riders and eventers aren't arguing that their sport has a key role in managing the countryside.
They helped manage the countryside to encourage foxes so they could chase them! The pest control aspect is just to hide the fact that foxes were encouraged and in some cases fed so that the hunt had its sport. Its as simple as that really. Now hunting is illegal (OR should be! ) They just scrape the barrel for excuses to continue their illegal and cruel "sport"
 

Caol Ila

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Indeed. That's my point. If they are hunting legally now, i.e. allegedly not chasing foxes, then how are they continuing to "play a key role in managing the countryside?" It seems like he's making an absurd argument.

Are hunts doing anything useful, like helping maintain general equestrian access to bridleways and other off-road routes?
 

Tiddlypom

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Ah, but hunts are still managing artificial earths to encourage foxes to breed. Bless them, encouraging and supporting wildlife.

So that a sicko closely associated with a hunt can flush the fox out with a terrier and then repeatedly stab it with a garden fork.

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-12-23/footage-shows-man-in-essex-attacking-a-fox-with-garden-fork

That incident happened on 4/12/21. Has that guy (and we all know who he is, and what his connections to the Essex Hunt are) even been charged yet?
 

stangs

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Indeed. That's my point. If they are hunting legally now, i.e. allegedly not chasing foxes, then how are they continuing to "play a key role in managing the countryside?" It seems like he's making an absurd argument.
No, they're right. By letting hounds kill off the occasional cat, they're saving our precious birds ;)
 

Wishfilly

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Ah, but hunts are still managing artificial earths to encourage foxes to breed. Bless them, encouraging and supporting wildlife.

So that a sicko closely associated with a hunt can flush the fox out with a terrier and then repeatedly stab it with a garden fork.

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-12-23/footage-shows-man-in-essex-attacking-a-fox-with-garden-fork

That incident happened on 4/12/21. Has that guy (and we all know who he is, and what his connections to the Essex Hunt are) even been charged yet?
He was arrested according to this Mail report: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...er-footage-caught-stabbing-fox-PITCHFORK.html

But I don't know if he has been charged, certainly not prosecuted (I know that can take time for lots of reasons).
 

Tiddlypom

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He was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Hunting Act 2004, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wild Mammal Protection Act 1996, but later released.

The covert video footage is graphic and the fox torturer is clearly identifiable.

4 months on, and he is still not charged with anything.
 

Sossigpoker

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Even if that was what the hunts were doing then actually it’s not. Deliberate cruelty is never right, however well meaning
I didn't see any mention of cruelty, just someone trying to help. No mention of what he supposedly did that was so cruel.
Most wildlife rescuers aren't vets.
 

YorksG

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I didn't see any mention of cruelty, just someone trying to help. No mention of what he supposedly did that was so cruel.
Most wildlife rescuers aren't vets.
The cramped conditions are cruel for wild animals, the containment itself is stressful. I'm not sure I saw someone wanting to help, but possibly making a quick few pounds?
 

Koweyka

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Is that the best you can come up with ? Any donations have been returned if requested or sent to other wildlife charities, Rob has held his hands up and said he should have performed more due diligence, he is right he should have done and it wasn’t a good situation for foxes, everyone agrees with that. So really it’s a bit of a none story isn’t it, lots of other charities have now benefited ..Why not mention the countless hunts up in court in the next few months charged with illegal hunting, including one investigation carried out by the MOD police after they witnessed illegal hunting on MOD land, terrier men found guilty for assaulting Sabs and theft and criminal damage, the huntsman that killed Mini losing his appeal and the laughable statement from the MFHA about policing themselves now …Or more and more hunts changing to Blood Hounds and clean boot as they acknowledge trail hunting is on its way out …. There is also potentially another huge expose coming that will knock another massive nail in the trail hunt coffin tick tock tick tock ….
 

Rowreach

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Is that the best you can come up with ? Any donations have been returned if requested or sent to other wildlife charities, Rob has held his hands up and said he should have performed more due diligence, he is right he should have done and it wasn’t a good situation for foxes, everyone agrees with that. So really it’s a bit of a none story isn’t it, lots of other charities have now benefited ..Why not mention the countless hunts up in court in the next few months charged with illegal hunting, including one investigation carried out by the MOD police after they witnessed illegal hunting on MOD land, terrier men found guilty for assaulting Sabs and theft and criminal damage, the huntsman that killed Mini losing his appeal and the laughable statement from the MFHA about policing themselves now …Or more and more hunts changing to Blood Hounds and clean boot as they acknowledge trail hunting is on its way out …. There is also potentially another huge expose coming that will knock another massive nail in the trail hunt coffin tick tock tick tock ….
Dobbed in by another anti-hunting group - bit of fighting amongst yourselves?
 

Fred66

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Those on here supporting trail hunts have made it clear that we are supporting trail hunting within the law.
The fact that an animals right organisation has been found to be supporting an outfit that was actually perpetrating animal cruelty is news.
Whataboutery doesn’t change this
 

Koweyka

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Dobbed in by another anti-hunting group - bit of fighting amongst yourselves?
Not at all, in fact unlike the hunts that have been completely aware that other hunts have been breaking the law and hunting illegally and not calling it out, an anti group has stood up and done the right thing. I believe this shows integrity and morals something the hunting community could learn from.
 

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Fred66

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Not at all, in fact unlike the hunts that have been completely aware that other hunts have been breaking the law and hunting illegally and not calling it out, an anti group has stood up and done the right thing. I believe this shows integrity and morals something the hunting community could learn from.
Personally I find that the people I associate with out hunting have high morals and personal integrity, so it’s nice to see that others do too .
Was it you that reported Sossigpoker as that’s one of the quickest post removals and banning’s I’ve seen.
 
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