Mass meets on 1 November

  • Mass meets, on a scale never seen before, will take place nationwide on 1 November to heighten media attention about the Hunting Bill and send a clear message to government in the run-up to the Queen’s Speech on 25 November.

    “Declaration Day” will involve hundreds of packs representing all types of hunting and thousands of followers and supporters are expected to be at each of the 10-12 meets.

    The focus of the day, which is being co-ordinated by the Countryside Alliance (CA) and the Council of Hunting Associations (CHA) is the Hunting Declaration.

    Around 4,000 people have signed up to the declaration, pledging “peacefully to disobey any law purporting to ban hunting”, and thousands more are expected to add their names on 1 November.

    Additionally, those for whom it would be impractical to promise to “put personal freedoms at risk” — for instance, parents with dependent children — can sign a separate declaration in support of those who have committed themselves to breaking the law.

    Simon Hart, chief executive designate of the CA, explains: “Declaration Day will provide a platform for hunting people, the wider rural community and all those who value tolerance and civil liberties to make it clear that they will not accept unjust law.”

    The meets will kick off simultaneously at 10am. The huge numbers at each meet will prevent many people actually hunting on the day — although in some areas it may be possible to divide and proceed in different directions — but most hunts will rearrange their opening meets around Declaration Day.

    A spokesman for the CA says: “We are getting very close to the wire on this issue, and it is essential to provide the media with an unequivocal statement of the countryside’s position.”

    To view or sign the declaration, visit: www.huntingdeclaration.org and for more information (tel: 01367 850488).

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