More than a quarter of a million people braved wet weather to support their local hunt up and down the country this Boxing Day. Those against the sport reacted angrily in the media, calling for a strengthening of the ban they brought in with the 2004 Hunting Act.
Speaking at the Tiverton Foxhounds’ Boxing Day meet in Devon, Neil Parish, the pro-hunting MP for Tiverton and Honiton said he wants to see what new Conservative MPs think of foxhunting before he and others start the process of repealing Tony Blair’s 2004 ban on the sport. 100s came to enjoy the meet in Tiverton town centre plus half a dozen anti-hunt protestors.
In the run-up to Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day hunt meets came under sustained attack from antis in the media and at local government level across the UK.
A rent-a-mob of hunt protestors have signed an online petition to stop a hunt meet in Somerset. 80,000 people signed the petition on Change.org ordering the local council to deny permission for the Blackmore Vale Hunt to meet there on Boxing Day. That’s more than 40 times the number of people who live in Castle Cary. And they followed up with hatemail to the leader of Castle Cary council. Anti-hunting petitions on Change.org have recently been found to be fake, with signatories including ‘Bob the Builder’.
Another hunt master complained to the Daily Telegraph that antis are trying to drown Southdown and Eridge hunt’s New Year’s Day meet in paperwork, including a complaint the hunt does not have a licence to serve hunt cup at the meet.
Better news for the East Kent Hunt, which is return to Elham village square. Violent antis drove them away from Elham last year – but there will now be a stronger police presence to stop the saboteurs.