Charity calls for public support in combatting illegal hunting
Despite being banned by the Hunting Act 2004, each year, thousands of wild animals are still chased and killed by illegal hunts, in the name of ‘sport’.
Customary images, depicting huntsmen, horses and dogs posed in front of impossibly idyllic countryside scenes, will soon be flooding the media to promote the start of the hunting season. However, the League Against Cruel Sports, points out that this pageantry does not reflect the realities that lie behind illegal hunting. Although the 2012 hunting season officially starts on Thursday 01st November, many hunts will be meeting slightly earlier this year, to fit in an extra weekend of hunting.
As preparations for the season commence, the hunting community would have you believe that they are all getting ready for a season of ‘trail’ and ‘drag ‘hunting, sadly, the League Against Cruel Sports know the reality is very different.
Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports says; “These criminals are not just breaking the law, they are behaving like thugs with no regard for wildlife or those living in rural communities. Members of the public call our Wildlife Crimewatch line to tell us of the havoc that hunts bring with them. The hounds riot through private gardens, trespass on railway lines, and even kill family cats and dogs. When people try to stop them or ask what they’re up to, they often face verbal or physical abuse and even intimidation”.
Hunts committing illegal acts apparently believe they are above the law; however, those who continue to flout the law will be brought to justice.
The League Against Cruel Sports has launched a £1m strategy to tackle illegal hunting and other wildlife crime.
Joe Duckworth continued; “We have a team of specialist undercover investigators who work out in the field monitoring the activities of suspected illegal hunts and other wildlife criminals with legal professionals working alongside the authorities to secure prosecutions. Our message to wildlife criminals is clear: we’ve got more cameras under more bushes than ever before. If you’re breaking the law, expect a knock at the door. Hunting animals with dogs for sport is cruel, unnecessary and illegal. Together we can help stop this rural menace.”
The League relies on information received from supporters and members of the public. If you believe that illegal hunting or other wildlife crimes are taking place, please get in contact.
Please call us our Wildlife Crimewatch line on 01483 361 108 to speak to a member of the team in complete confidence.
Notes to Editors
1. Further information on the League’s campaign to tackle illegal hunting can be found at www.league.org.uk/hunting or call 01483 524250