After talks with the Masters of Foxhounds Association, DEFRA is considering lifting the order prohibiting hunting, which was imposed in March to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.
If the order is lifted, it is likely to come into effect from mid-August and be applied on a county-by-county basis, giving full consideration to the local disease situation.
At that stage, suggested Campaign for Hunting director Sam Butler, the MFHAwill issue guidelines to hunts aimed at avoiding the risk of spreading the disease by hunting.
“It is unlikely that the MFHA will impose any regulations, but will offer advice to hunts on how to conduct hunting in the safest possible way,” he said.
The easing of the prohibition may come too late to save the mink hunting season, which was due to start as FMD began to rage out of control in the spring and ends in September.
For full story see this week’s (19 July) Horse & Hound magazine or click here to subscribe.