THE definition of “hunting” will be clarified by the High Court next month — in a case that will set a precedent for what activity is legal under the Hunting Act.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) wants the High Court to decide whether a judge correctly interpreted parts of the Act in overturning the conviction of Exmoor huntsman Tony Wright last December.
“This case is a tedious waste of time and money but has to be done for the good and the future of hunting,” Mr Wright told H&H.
The CPS has also asked the High Court to decide that the prosecution or defence should have to prove whether conditions had been fulfilled in prosecutions where the defence claim exempt hunting.
The case is scheduled to be between 16-18 December.
Mr Wright’s solicitor Tim Ryan said clarification of the law was “absolutely needed”.
“People will know what they are and are not allowed to do under the Hunting Act,” he said. “It’s currently very difficult for anyone engaging in lawful hunting activity to know whether they are on the right side of the line, and hopefully this will clarify where that line is drawn.”
Mr Wright was the first huntsman to be prosecuted under the Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales.
Read the full version of this news story, including details of how the Tony Wright case unfolded, in today’s Horse & Hound (6 November, ’08)