Our campaign against fox hunting in Somerset is set to grow

The League is expanding its campaign to end hunting in Somerset and we want you to join us. Not only will we be increasing our calls for Somerset Council to ban ‘trail’ hunting on land they control, we are now calling on Bath and North East Council to do the same.

We’ll make sure that every policymaker in Somerset knows that trail hunting is an excuse used by hunts to deceive the public, police, and courts. A deceit invented by the hunts to continue chasing and killing animals after the fox hunting ban but which has been exposed as a sham and a smokescreen.

You may recognise North East Somerset as the constituency currently represented by well-known hunt apologist, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP. With the next election set to be close in his area, perhaps it’s time for him to reconsider his position on hunting.

It’s time for policymakers across Somerset to act, even if they think they’ll face opposition from well-connected hunt supporters. You can help us put pressure on them to tackle hunting by signing our petition against fox hunting in your local area.

Supporters across Somerset have been sharing their experiences of the hunts with us. The stories we’ve heard show just how much misery and disruption they cause. Day after day, week after week, hunting blights the lives of those who live in the countryside.

Whether its packs of hounds marauding through people’s gardens, farms – or even an animal park in one case – roads being blocked by horses, hounds, and hangers on; riding on land they are banned from using; or leaving their hounds’ mess to be cleared up by villagers, hunts cause havoc and people suffer.

In January 2023, an eyewitness reported the Mendip Farmers Hunt to be in Chew Valley Animal Park, a zoo in North East Somerset. Fortunately, there were no reports of the hounds disturbing zoo animals, however the risk the hounds pose to such animals is clear and raises serious questions over whether the hunt were following a trail or a live animal.

One supporter reported to the League they had witnessed hunts on National Trust land, which they are of course banned from using, which they surely shouldn’t be doing if properly following a pre-laid trail. We’ve also been told of hounds being regularly exercised through one village early in the morning, with the mess they make being left behind with no care for the people who live there.

We keep hearing how people are frightened to speak out against the hunts, due to their aggressive behaviour and the fear that it creates. That’s why we decided to make sure that the councillors who represent them know that the havoc wreaked by hunts on rural communities is an ever-present menace.

This week, the League is sending our report, titled Hunt Havoc: the human cost of hunting with hounds, to every councillor on Somerset Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council. We want them to know that it’s not just animals that are suffering, but their constituents too.

The report is powerful – even if the figures within it are just the tip of the iceberg – but for it to have maximum impact we need constituents to let them know how important an issue it is. If you live in either council area, please write to your local councillor(s) and ask them to take a stand against hunting.

You can find your councillor’s details at writetothem.com and don’t forget to remind them the League is able to help them bring forward a motion to ban trail hunting on land controlled by their council.

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