League Against Cruel Sports campaigners took to the streets of the city yesterday to call for the cancellation of a Peterborough-based festival celebrating the brutal world of fox hunting.

Staff and volunteers from the leading national animal welfare charity gathered outside Peterborough Cathedral where the League ‘fox’ and local campaigners handed out leaflets calling for the Festival of Hunting to be cancelled.

Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This squalid celebration of the brutal world of fox hunting has no place in a modern-day Peterborough. The city has already taken a stand against hunting – it’s time for them to put this into action.

“Incensed local campaigners are calling for the Festival of Hunting to be cancelled – fox hunting was banned in this country 16 years ago and many Peterborough residents will be rightly appalled that this event is taking place in their city.”

The Festival of Hunting is set to take place at the East of England Showground in Peterborough on July 21. A new League Against Cruel Sports campaign group covering the whole of Cambridgeshire has been set up by local residents who are unhappy about blood sports events taking place in their county.

Peterborough City Council recently took the landmark decision to ban so-called ‘trail’ hunting on its land, the first council to do so after hunt officials were heard in two webinars appearing to describe trail hunting as a “smokescreen” for real hunting.

A fox hunting ban came into force in England and Wales in February 2005 – however, the League compiled figures for 2020 which revealed 300 separate eye-witness reports of suspected illegal hunting, despite hunts having to forestall many activities due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Nick Weston added: “Hunts behave as if they are above the law and its shocking that they can hold an event which glosses over the brutality of their blood sport.

“We will be calling on the city council to debate the issue and take the steps to ensure this festival never returns to Peterborough.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Enclosed are links to four photos of the League Against Cruel Sports ‘fox’ with members of the public in Peterborough.

1 Oscar Fuller with the League fox (portrait)
2 Oscar Fuller with the League fox (landscape)
3 Harry and Lisa Smith with the League fox (portrait)
4 Harry and Lisa Smith with the League fox (landscape)

Enclosed is a link to our web page on the realities of what trail hunting really is.

Social distancing, masks and hand sanitisers were used at all times on the day by League staff who were required beforehand to take a Covid-19 lateral flow test.

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).