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Council bans hunting with dogs

'No hunting allowed'

John Garvey

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886628

Ramsbury Estates bans Vine & Craven Hunt 'with immediate effect'

WEST Berkshire Council has said that it does not allow hunting with dogs on its land.

The statement was in response to a challenge by the League Against Cruel Sports.

In December, the campaign wrote to council leader Lynne Doherty (Con, Newbury Speen) in the wake of recent revelations that six of Britain’s biggest landowners have banned trail hunting.

They did so in response to a criminal investigation into secret webinars at which hunt masters discussed creating ‘smokescreens’ to avoid being accused of illegal activity.

These include the National Trust, United Utilities and Forestry England, as well as councils in Cambridge and Cheshire

Ramsbury Estates Limited has also banned the Vine & Craven Hunt from its land.

The letter to West Berkshire Council from League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Andy Knott states: “In light of the ongoing police investigation, I am writing to seek confirmation that trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise will not be allowed on council land this festive season.

“The ‘smokescreen’ of trail hunting has allowed fox hunting to continue, despite it being banned in 2005, with animals fleeing for their life in terror before being torn to shreds and killed.

“I am very keen to see your response on this and seek confirmation that trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise will not be allowed on council land this festive season.”

A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports, Mike Nicholas, revealed: “West Berkshire Council have responded to our letter stating the council does not grant use of any of its land for hunting with dogs.

“So while not confirmation of a ban, it is confirmation of what we asked for in the letter – that there’d be no hunting allowed on their land over the festive season.”

The council’s private reply was: “West Berkshire Council fully supports the legislation arising from The Hunting Act in England and Wales 2004 and the robust implementation of the law as demonstrated in recent prosecution cases. The council does not grant use of any of its land for hunting with dogs.”

Meanwhile West Berkshire Council's executive member for transport and countryside, Richard Somner (Con, Tilehurst South & Holybrook), said: "West Berkshire Council fully supports the legislation arising from The Hunting Act in England and Wales 2004 and the robust implementation of the law as demonstrated in recent prosecution cases.

"The council does not grant use of any of its land for hunting with dogs. Furthermore, most of the council’s freehold countryside land is under the control of BBOWT (Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust), the local Wildlife Trust. The BBOWT will not permit drag or trail hunting on the land they manage on the council’s behalf because the land is protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest."

He added: "We are however aware that trail hunting clubs exist on our borders and these hunts are carried out on lands in private ownership. Being a large rural authority we know that some of these hunts may cross to within our district boundaries, but the Council has no influence upon decisions made by private landowners to allow trail hunting on their land."

 

 

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Article comments

  • oldlongdog

    15/01/2021 - 13:46

    Are we being fobbed off with semantics here? Hunting with dogs is illegal but 'trail hunting is not' Trail hunting is simply a cover for the continuation of hunting as it has always been and often results in as many foxes being killed as before but the hunts claim they are 'accidents'. These are not accidents. Trail hunting involves training hounds to follow fox based scents and then hunting them in the 'usual' way in areas where they know foxes are present. They still use artificial earths, dig foxes out of badger setts (also illegal) and have terrier men on hand at all times. So does the council allow 'trail' hunting on its land? LACS needs to ask this because if they do then they are allowing hunting on their land.

    Reply

  • oldlongdog

    15/01/2021 - 13:46

    Are we being fobbed off with semantics here? Hunting with dogs is illegal but 'trail hunting is not' Trail hunting is simply a cover for the continuation of hunting as it has always been and often results in as many foxes being killed as before but the hunts claim they are 'accidents'. These are not accidents. Trail hunting involves training hounds to follow fox based scents and then hunting them in the 'usual' way in areas where they know foxes are present. They still use artificial earths, dig foxes out of badger setts (also illegal) and have terrier men on hand at all times. So does the council allow 'trail' hunting on its land? LACS needs to ask this because if they do then they are allowing hunting on their land.

    Reply

  • oldlongdog

    15/01/2021 - 13:46

    Are we being fobbed off with semantics here? Hunting with dogs is illegal but 'trail hunting is not' Trail hunting is simply a cover for the continuation of hunting as it has always been and often results in as many foxes being killed as before but the hunts claim they are 'accidents'. These are not accidents. Trail hunting involves training hounds to follow fox based scents and then hunting them in the 'usual' way in areas where they know foxes are present. They still use artificial earths, dig foxes out of badger setts (also illegal) and have terrier men on hand at all times. So does the council allow 'trail' hunting on its land? LACS needs to ask this because if they do then they are allowing hunting on their land.

    Reply

  • Exhausted

    11/01/2021 - 09:35

    Well it's about time. At last we move to a more civilised 21st century.

    Reply