Huntsman’s appeal ruling reinforces why the Hunting Act needs to be strengthened
Posted 20th July 2022
20 July 2022
For immediate release
Mark Hankinson, former director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, today had his appeal against his sentence for teaching hunts how to break the law upheld by His Honour Judge Gregory Perrins at Southwark Crown Court.
In the judgement following the initial trial, Judge Tan Ikram, deputy chief magistrate for England and Wales, described Hankinson and others of using those exemptions as ‘a sham and a mirage’ designed to let them carry on with ‘old fashioned illegal hunting’.
However, giving his ruling, HHJ Perrins said that while Hankinson’s words were capable of encouraging hunts to break the Hunting Act, he couldn’t be satisfied that the evidence met the threshold to prove that was Hankinson’s intention. He therefore allowed the appeal and Hankinson’s conviction has been quashed.
Andy Knott, MBE, chief executive of the League, said: “The appeal result changes nothing in terms of our position, because only by strengthening the Hunting Act by closing its many loopholes and outlawing so-called trail hunting can illegal hunting be properly stopped and those determined to carry on persecuting wildlife brought to justice.”
As well as campaigning for the Hunting Act to be strengthened, the League is urging landowners that either suspended permission for trail hunting on their land as a result of the original trial, or those who still allow it to continue, to prohibit the practice for good.
Andy added: “While we wait for those in power to do the right thing and strengthen the Hunting Act we urge those who give licences for potential criminal activity to take place on their land to remove those permissions and help us bring an end to this so-called sport.”