Stag hunting to end - official
The League Against Cruel Sports today welcomed the admission from the Countryside Alliance that deer hunting in the Exmoor area would end on February 18.
A new ‘Hunting Handbook’ produced by the Countryside Alliance to guide former hunting supporters urges the stag hunters to take their hounds for exercise rides or to follow an artificial scent. It says that using two hounds to flush a deer from cover in order to shoot it is "not recommended". [page 17 of Countryside Alliance document]
Paul Tillsley, manager of the League Against Cruel Sports sanctuary land around Exmoor said, "We hope that the three local stag hound packs and the two unofficial roe deer hunts will follow this advice. We have always said that chasing deer is cruel and urged them to follow an artificial scent instead."
Paul Tillsley added, "Not only is shooting moving deer not recommended, it is usually illegal under the 1991 Deer Act. The Countryside Alliance seems to have accepted that deer hunting using hounds cannot continue after February 18. We now need them to agree to stop chasing foxes, hares and mink too."
"We know that we can rely on local people in the Exmoor area to make sure that the stag hounds do follow the Countryside Alliance guidance. If there are any examples of hounds chasing deer, these will be reported to the Police, and we have no doubt that prosecutions will follow. League staff and supporters will work with the Police by taking video evidence if the former hunts claim to be operating legally."