Boxing Day: One month on

197 reports of illegal hunting.
23 foxes witnessed being killed.

Those are grim statistics. It’s worth noting that we believe those only to be the tip of the iceberg. What’s worse is that these statistics are for THIS HUNTING SEASON ONLY. Hunting season starts on/around 1st November. Less than three months ago.

So, what is being done about it?

Work is ceaseless at the League, unfortunately there is never a time when animal persecution is not taking place. But hunting season is, unsurprisingly, our busiest time of the year. Our investigators are out in force (well, out in the bushes), monitoring the hunts.

Just before the main season started, our investigators went out with BBC Radio 4 to expose hunting, which was broadcast on PM, one of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme. A first for the League and the anti-hunting movement at large. The same hunt is currently being interviewed by the police, so keep your eyes peeled.

This year our tactics are a lot more focused. I’m sure you’ll understand I will not go into any more detail on that, but I can tell you it’s paying off. Our investigators are still out every week, (in fact I shall be joining them this weekend), braving the cold and wet, gathering footage that continues to show how the events flout, circumvent or outright ignore the laws set to protect British wildlife.

But we’re not the only ones out in the field, not the only ones holding the hunts to account. Across the UK, members of the public are keeping watch on the hunts. Whether they are saboteurs, monitors, farmers, land owners, or just vigilant passers-by, they all play a vital part in ending hunting with dogs in the UK, and we are proud to stand alongside them.

Working alongside many of these groups, together the League has increased the media coverage of the activities of the hunt. This is in addition to the 732 media hits that our press team generated over Boxing Day and the festive period. Working with sab and monitor groups, the evidence produced by them has been important in a number of campaigns.

Incidents on National Trust land, or involving National Trust licenced hunts, have led to 3 licences being cancelled by the estates. Similarly, we have written to 15 councils up and down the UK highlighting both the safety concerns and track records of the hunts and asking them to no longer host Boxing Day meets. So far 2 councils have confirmed that issue is going to be debated.

We are not the only one’s doing so. Action Against Foxhunting deserve a huge congratulations, as they have made a significant achievement in convincing St. Ives council to ban the hunt. It just goes to show the value of people standing up for what’s right.

And that is how we win this fight. Together. We are all on the same side. The League, the sabs, the monitors, the 85% of the public who want hunting to remain illegal. This hunting season is not yet over, and sadly it won’t be the last. But progress is being made, and it will continue to be made together.

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