Ten successful years of the Hunting Act
It was a significant milestone in the campaign to halt the cruel and unnecessary practice of hunting with dogs before the Act finally came into force on 18 February 2005.
There have been more than 300 convictions under the Hunting Act. Over the years, several hunts have been successfully prosecuted under this legislation, some using evidence obtained by investigators from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
IFAW opposes hunting with dogs on animal welfare grounds as it is cruel and unnecessary, causing suffering to the hunted animal such as foxes, deer or hares, during both the chase and the kill. It is delighted that all attempts to amend or scrap the Act over the past 10 years have failed and that this landmark piece of legislation is here to stay.
Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “This 10-year landmark shows clearly that hunting with dogs belongs in the history books. However, enforcement of the Act is still a challenge. Regrettably, in some cases hunters may be using trail hunting as a false alibi to allow the pursuit of a live animal which is something that we would like to see addressed.”
IFAW is committed to ensuring that the Hunting Act continues to be enforced across the country. Its Wildlife Crime Investigators remain committed to documenting the illegal activities of those individuals who are breaking the law.
If you witness any suspicious hunt activities, please contact your local police by calling 101, report anything you have seen and ask for a crime incident number.
Notes to Editors:
18 November 2014: After the ‘ping pong’ session between the Commons and the Lords which saw a ban rejected, the Speaker of the House of Commons invoked the Parliament Act. The legislation passed into law and received Royal Assent.
Hunts often claim that they are trail hunting (i.e. following a laid scent rather than chasing a live fox which is illegal under the Hunting Act 2004). They regularly say that they are not pursuing wild animals for sport and that any animal fatalities have been the result of an accident. Trail hunting uses a fox-based scent and its aim appears to be to replicate many of the aspects of live quarry hunting.
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter