Hunting act prosecutions

  • A landowner and terrier man from the Flint and Denbigh hunt in Wales are to be prosecuted under the Hunting Act.

    Tenant farmer Peter Rowley Williams, 48, of Llangwyfan near Denbigh, was due to appear before Prestatyn Magistrates on Monday, 16 July, charged with permitting his land to be used for illegal hunting on 2 January 2007.

    Terrierman William Francis Armstrong, 69, of Cefn, was also due to appear in court on Monday, charged with hunting a wild animal with dogs on the same date. But the case was adjourned to a later date.

    While the Flint and Denbigh declined to talk to H&H, Countryside Alliance (CA) spokesman Tim Bonner said Mr Armstrong has been charged over an alleged technical breach of the terrierwork exemption of the Hunting Act. It is legal to use a terrier below ground to flush out a mammal, provided the handler has written permission from the landowner and fulfills other exemptions.

    He added: “It’s not clear what evidence the police have to suggest Mr Williams ‘knowingly permitted’ illegal hunting on his land. We believe he had given the Flint and Denbigh permission for legal hunting.”

    Mr Bonner stressed there have been only a handful of prosecutions since the Hunting Act (2004) came in to place in February 2005. While the case was “regrettable”, he said it was only the fifth in about 47,500 days’ hunting.

    This is the second case brought by the crown, the first being against the Devon and Somerset Staghounds. LACS has successfully brought private prosecutions against the Exmoor Foxhounds and Quantock Staghounds — both are being appealed — with a case against the Isle of Wight pending.

    Read this story in full in today’s Horse & Hound (19 July, ’07)

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