The campaign to end hunting in Gloucestershire moves to Cirencester.
Posted 2nd May 2023
Gloucestershire is a hot spot for hunting with hounds
In a recent report published by the League Against Cruel Sports Gloucestershire is the top county in England and Wales for suspected illegal hunting and hunt havoc cases.
The report has revealed that in the most recent hunting season between November 2022 and April 2023, 90 incidents were recorded in this county alone. These figures are likely to be the tip of the iceberg with hunts suspected to be hunting as they did before the Hunting ban was passed in 2004.
In Gloucestershire, Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch found a bagged fox at the meet of the Cotswold Hunt. Channel 4 reported the incident, and we watched in horror how this fox had been buried underground and double bagged ready for a possible horrendous fate of being thrown to a waiting pack of hounds and ripped apart. This is barbaric.
Time for change
Policy makers including local councillors cannot ignore that suspected illegal hunting continues to take place across our counties. Not only is our wildlife suffering but people are too. Hunts are out of control, rampaging across the countryside, trespassing in gardens and blocking roads.
Stroud District Council has already banned hunting with hounds on their land as laid out in their animal charter. On 27 April we asked a question on behalf of Stroud residents to confirm the ban includes trail hunting, exempt hunting and hound exercise. The council replied
Our Animal Welfare Charter, which was approved by members at a Cabinet meeting on the 11th of March 2010, states that ‘hunting is not allowed on Council owned land’; this covers all hunting with dogs.
The Council would not give permission for any form of hunting on its land, including those listed in the question.
This is amazing. Thank you to Stroud District Council and thank you to our supporters who contacted the council with their concerns about hunting with hounds.
We are hoping the Cotswold District Council will follow suit and make a strong statement saying hunting, including trail hunting, is not permitted on council land. This will send a significant message to the British Hounds Sports Association, who are based near Cirencester within the council’s boundaries, that chasing and killing wildlife is completely unacceptable.
Polling commissioned by the League has shown that, nationally, almost eight out of 10 British people agree the Hunting Act 2004 should be strengthened. More than half of respondents say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who pledged to strengthen the ban. MPs cannot ignore this leading up to the next general election.
In Gloucestershire 76 percent of the public agreed that the law should be changed to prevent animals being chased and killed. (Polling carried out by Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus in June 2022).
A stormy launch day
On 21 April we launched the next part of our Gloucestershire campaign in Cirencester town centre. Although the weather was not kind to us, our amazing volunteers, and the public were.
We set up in the marketplace and despite the rain, people took leaflets and said they would sign the petition to end hunting in Gloucestershire. Many people we talked to said they did not agree with hunting with hounds, and it should be banned for good.
What you have helped us achieve so far.
Thank you to all of you who have been part of this campaign in Gloucestershire so far.
You have -
- Written to Stroud District council with your concerns about hunting which has led to us asking a question at the council meeting on the 27 April.
- Handed out leaflets with us on the streets and independently in your own villages and towns.
- Helped us more than 1,900 signatures on our petition (and still rising).
- Written to your MP asking them to strengthen the Hunting Act and sent us their replies.
- Nominated a business to sign up to our Business Without Blood Sports Pledge. We now have 17 in Stroud signed up and over 130 nationally.
- Created an active network of supporters around Stroud who we hope will help us continue to campaign as we move into our general election campaign.
What we want to achieve next with your help.
- A ban on hunting with hounds on Cotswold District Council land.
- A ban on hunting with hounds on Gloucestershire County Council land.
- Gloucestershire MPs to write to DEFRA sharing constituents’ concerns that the only way hunting can be banned is to strengthen the hunting ban.
- More Gloucestershire businesses signing up to the Business Without Blood Sports pledge. Please nominate a company.
With your help we can create a kinder and safer world for animals and end cruelty in the name of ‘sport’. If you can spare a small donation to help us continue to campaign to strengthen the hunting ban, we would be extremely grateful.