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Hunts prepare for the future

Britain’s hunting associations have announced a package of measures to respond to the recommendations of the Burns Report.

The measures are intended to reassure both the public and the authorities that hunting is properly regulated.

The principal areas are:

  • Openness and accountability – All hunts will have their own web sites live by the end of 2001. This will enable the public to easily obtain information about their local hunt. It will also offer the public with a pointof contact.
  • Accidental trespass

    The hunting associations have stepped up their current programme of boundary realignment and amalgamations to avoid accidental trespass. A total of 14 hunts are presently in negotiation regarding amalgamation with their neighbours.

  • Regulation

    Hunting associations have introduced new disciplinary procedures. The Independent Supervision Authority for Hunting (ISAH) is an independent and accountable supervisory body that will activelymonitor the internal disciplinary procedures of hunting.

  • Field Visits

    Hunt associations introduced a system of kennel inspections to ensure proper welfare standards are observed following the Phelps report in 1997. This initiative will be extended to hunting practices in the field.

  • Use of terriers out hunting

    Hunting associations have reminded their members that digging of foxes can only take place when it is requested by the landholder, farmer, occupier or shooting tenant.

  • “Holding up”

    This practice can only be engaged in when it would present a risk to agricultural or other interests or place the hounds in danger if lining out is not undertaken.

  • Artificial earths

    Many landowners, farmers, occupiers and shooting tenants have historically installed or maintained “artificial earths” to encourage foxes away from farm or domestic buildings. Foxes and other wild animals use artificial earths by choice, they cannot be forced to do so.

  • Fox rescue

    A number of agencies including the RSPCA rescue orphaned fox cubs. Hunt employees are forbidden from helping with this activity due to the potential for misunderstanding.

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