H&H’s hunting editor Polly Portwin: there is a future to look forward to

Ten years ago, those charged with the everyday organisation of hunting were facing the unknown.

What had been a legal activity one day became illegal overnight, but those at the forefront had to keep the show on the road. Faced with adversity, the hunting community came out fighting and has continued to prove that the Hunting Act 2004 is an unworkable and bad piece of legislation that must be changed.

Keeping members of hunt staff positive, maintaining important bloodlines within kennels, and convincing farmers that there was still good reason to allow hunts to continue lawful activities on their land, while at the same time encouraging the young to pursue a career in hunting, all went on behind the scenes.

It was crucial to ensure that the new form of sport being provided to subscribers and supporters would sustain their appetites enough for them to continue wanting to renew their subscriptions. With the sport as popular as ever, this has to be considered a job well done.

Simply unacceptable

Being a master under the restrictions of the Hunting Act 2004 is not an easy role, but being a member of hunt staff is particularly challenging. Aside from the restrictions of the Act, there can be few other jobs in this world where a person has to suffer being pursued by total strangers, often wearing balaclavas and videoing their every move, in the hope that they break the law. This is simply unacceptable.

On behalf of all those who hunt, heartfelt thanks to those who have played their part in keeping our sport healthy and to ensure there is a future to look forward to.

Ref: Horse & Hound; 19 February 2015