More Than 80 Boxing Day Hunt Meets Have Been Planned
At least 80 Boxing Day hunt meets have been planned to take place across the country.
According to the Countryside Alliance, the majority of them will take place in England, with several charities coming out to protest them.
Killing foxes with a pack of dogs was banned in 2004, but groups can still take part in 'trail hunting' where hunts follow a scent along a pre-determined route with hounds even though it can sometimes result in the death of a fox.
The League Against Cruel Sport has said that loopholes exist that allow foxes to be killed illegally.
The charity's director of campaigns Chris Luffingham wrote in The Times: "As they parade today in their gaudy finery, fox hunts will be facing the fact that, with their political support gone, hunting is history.
"Their 14-year campaign to repeal the fox hunting ban hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of success.
"There has been a sea change in the way the fox hunting debate is being framed and with the ban now secure, our emphasis has shifted towards the strengthening of the Hunting Act."
The League believes that the law is abused so that people can continue to kill foxes illegally.
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Mr Luffingham added: "To end fox hunting for good, the Hunting Act needs to be strengthened by removing the loopholes and exemptions being exploited by the fox hunts to cover up their brutal activities.
"The introduction of prison sentences for those convicted of fox hunting would help ensure there is a strong deterrent to prevent the deliberate and widespread chasing and killing of foxes."
However, the Countryside Alliance website has said that those who are against hunting are 'lobbying the government' to make sure the hunting ban isn't overturned and that it is strengthened.
Its website says: "Those opposed to hunting have already stated that they will be lobbying the Government not only to ensure the Act is not overturned, but to insist that it is scrutinised with a view to strengthening it.
"Boxing Day meets offer hunts the perfect opportunity to showcase their legal hunting activities to the public.
"We need to give the world the chance to understand what makes us all so passionate about following hounds.
"Now is the time for the hunting community to work together to ensure we tell our story and let the general public, politicians and hunting's opponents know why our way of life should be free from attack."
However, the Alliance's Head of Hunting Polly Portwin, said: "Since the Hunting Act was enforced, hunts have adapted their hunting activities, retained their infrastructure, continued to wear traditional hunt dress and established a long-term and viable future for hunting, all of which has frustrated those who thought hunts would disband following the implementation of the Hunting Act."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: uk news
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