A quarter of a million people are expected to turn out this time next week (26 December) to support hunts on their biggest day of the calendar — the Boxing Day meet.
More than 300 meets will take place across the country next Friday — more than 10 years after the Hunting Act was passed by parliament.
Boxing Day meets have traditionally drawn huge crowds, both mounted and on foot, to enjoy the atmosphere and pubic appetite has not dwindled since the ban.
Countryside Alliance executive chairman Barney White-Spunner said: “Ten years after the Hunting Act was passed in England and Wales more than 300 hunts are still here and still hunting.
“Support for hunting is a strong as ever because people are determined not to bow to this prejudice.
“The Hunting Act does not protect foxes or other quarry species and has achieved nothing other than to waste hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money and thousands of hours of police time.”
While hope of the current coalition changing the law has faded support groups are now focusing their attention on the future government.
“The next government, of whatever political colour, needs to accept that the Hunting Act is not working and repeal or replace the Act,” Mr White Spunner added.
H&H’s hunting editor Polly Portwin also recommends supporting your local hunt on Boxing Day.
“Hunting on Boxing Day is the perfect way to burn off any excess calories consumed so set the racing on record, go out hunting then enjoy your cold turkey in front of the fire later on while watching the King George re-plays,” Polly said.
If you are heading out to your Boxing Day of New Year meet and you’re handy with a camera don’t forget to send your photos into H&H.
We will be featuring a picture gallery from Christmas meets around the country in our 8 January issue and we will be publishing images on the Horse & Hound website.
Please send in pictures of your local hunt to firstname.lastname@example.org