Although legislation was introduced way back in 2004 to prohibit hunting mammals with packs of dogs in the UK illegal hunting persists – 16 years after the hunting ban.
Up and down the country fox hunts are continuing to pursue their barbaric behaviour without any attention from the authorities. There is clearly a lack of inclination from law enforcement to take any action. Hunts are simply stating that they now adhere to the law by “trail hunting” which is an outright lie. While one or two hunts have actually attempted to engage in trail-hunting, after having suffered due to lots of unwelcome attention from anti-hunt protestors, most are continuing to hunt the same as they have always done. And those which have switched to trail-hunting have demonstrated that they can’t be trusted as they quickly revert to their bad-old-ways.
The Cottesmore Hunt
A good example of just one persistent offender is the Cottesmore Hunt who are based in the Rutland area. This 350 year old organisation clearly don’t think that the hunting ban applies to them as they are out chasing foxes, week after week throughout the hunting season. Meets are regularly held on land owned by local farmers in the full knowledge that illegal hunting is being carried out, which is a criminal offence. The Cottesmore Hunt employs a band of deranged thugs who are recorded time and time again committing assaults and launching verbal abuse at peaceful anti-hunt protestors. Recently the Cottesmore Hunt has attempted to distance themselves from the violent behaviour of their employees saying that they have nothing to do with the Cottesmore Hunt. It’s clear that the Cottesmore don’t like to be known as the gang of violent criminals that they are.
The Cottesmore Hunt routinely and continuously plan and coordinate their criminal hunting activity, motivated by their desire not to comply with the hunting act and to carry on hunting foxes as if the law had not changed in 2004. Being watched, photographed and filmed while engaging in criminal activity is unwelcome to them so they employ a gaggle of fools to try and keep hunt monitors and hunt saboteurs far enough away to allow them to carry on as they like. This is organised crime. This is the very definition of organised crime. But law enforcement is allowing this violent, anti-social criminal behaviour to carry on week after week after week.
The key reason that the Cottesmore Hunt and many other fox hunts throughout the UK are able to persist in their criminal behaviour is due to the British Establishment. Although over 85% of people would like to see a total ban on hunting with dogs there’s a small, influential minority who want to keep doing what they have always done. Local authorities, law enforcement and the judiciary include people who support hunting or are related to people who like hunting. But luckily the British people aren’t inclined to sit back and allow their beleaguered wildlife suffer, which is why the number of active anti-hunt protestors and monitors is growing every week. They will not rest until hunting with hounds is consigned to history and all those who torment and mistreat animals are rightfully prosecuted.