Stop celebrating the brutal world of fox hunting.
Posted 21st July 2023
The Festival of Hunting
Fox hunting is barbaric, cruel and should be banned for good, not celebrated. If you aren’t familiar with the Festival of Hunting, you may be shocked and disgusted to hear that a celebration of killing and chasing wildlife for fun still takes place in the UK.
Shamefully, this disgraceful annual festival takes place in Peterborough. Hunts from all over the country come together to celebrate their sordid and savage obsession with chasing and killing foxes. Prizes are awarded for the best hounds and the hunts compete in relay races on horseback. These events and celebrations hide the reality that hunting with dogs continues despite the hunting ban. Many of the hunts taking part are linked to suspected cases of illegal hunting and chaos in the countryside. One of last year’s winners, the Cotswold Hunt, is under investigation by the police after sickeningly ‘bagging’ and burying alive a fox so they could use it later in the day to provide ‘sport’ for their hounds.
As this was the last year at its current home, the East of England Showground, the League Against Cruel Sports wrote to 49 showgrounds asking them not to hold the Festival of Hunting if they were approached. Replies are still coming in, but it seems they have had to turn to their own supporters for next year’s location.
The Countryside Alliance, the major sponsor of the Festival of Hunting, recently announced and celebrated the news that the festival will be moving to the Milton Estate, home of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, just down the road from its current location.
This is a private estate and, for residents in Peterborough, it will sadly continue to take place in their backyard. We know after campaigning on the streets of Peterborough that this is not what the majority of residents will want. The fact its new home is on a private estate, rather than being able to find a showground home, is telling.
The Fitzwilliam Hunt, a hunt with a record.
Should the Countryside Alliance be promoting this move with an air of excitement and happiness?
The Countryside Alliance’s Polly Portwin recently claimed that it will concentrate on “upholding the highest standards on and off the hunting field, promoting our lawful hunting activities and offering reassurance that all hunting activity is legitimate will help to build public support for hunting with hounds and reduce the risk of hostile legislation".
If she really meant this, then surely the Countryside Alliance would not celebrate this move to the land owned by a hunt which has been proven to take part in illegal fox hunting?
We all know that trail hunting is a smokescreen for old fashioned hunting.
Residents in the countryside, who the Countryside Alliance claim they campaign for, don’t want to see hunts parading around, they want to see hunting properly banned.
Polling conducted independently by Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus across Britain showed rural voters across Britain were in favour of strengthening the Hunting Act 2004 (76 per cent).
The Fitzwilliam Hunt has a notorious record of causing chaos in the countryside. In May, huntsman Shaun Parrish pleaded guilty to illegally hunting with dogs when a fox was dug out and thrown to waiting hounds.
Another shocking incident saw a horde of hounds from the hunt running amok at a crematorium during a funeral, shocking the mourners who were trying to pay their respects to a much-loved local woman.
Peterborough Hunt Saboteurs have repeatedly witnessed the Fitzwilliam Hunt causing distress to people and wildlife.
They were seen causing chaos on unrestricted local roads where motorists travelling lawfully at 60mph had to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting hounds. Elsewhere a farmer was shocked to see the hunt rampage through a field of ewes.
According to reports into the League’s Animal Crimewatch reporting service and from those who watch the behaviour of hunts, the Fitzwilliam Hunt was involved in 25 cases of suspected illegal hunting or of incidents in which they wreaked havoc on rural communities during the last hunting season. We suspect; however, these reports are just the tip of the iceberg.
What can we do?
It is time for change, time that hunting laws were strengthened, and hunting consigned to the history books once and for all.
- Write to your MP and tell them it is time for change. Ask them to call on Defra to strengthen the 2004 hunting ban.
- Join us calling on the government to strengthen and improve the Hunting Act 2004 by banning trail hunting and removing the exemptions which enable hunting and introduce custodial sentences for those who break the law.
If you want to help us campaign to end hunting for good please email firstname.lastname@example.org
From joining a supporter group to giving out leaflets, there is a role for everyone.