Trail-hunting demo days receive ‘excellent response’, with more planned

  • Three trail-hunting demonstration days have been open to both opponents and supporters, and more are planned as part of work to protect and preserve the sport.

    The British Hound Sports Association (BHSA) hosted the events, the last of which was in Gloucestershire on 12 December. The aim was to show “how hunts are following the letter of the law in their preparations for every hunt day, and show trail hunting working successfully”.

    BHSA managing director Oliver Hughes told H&H: “These trail hunting demonstration days have had an excellent response from supporters and from local and national media. Even groups who deny that trail hunting is a legitimate, legal, and well-regulated sport have shown an interest in attending to learn more.

    “The events have demonstrated how hunts across the country are following the letter of the law in their preparations for every hunt day and have shown how trail hunting works.

    “We need to be open about our sport to prove that those who deny trail hunting exists are entirely wrong.”

    Mr Hughes said there were more than 11,000 days of trail hunting last year, attended by thousands of people.

    “We expect all hunts to operate not only within the confines of the Hunting Act but also within our own BHSA code of conduct,” he said. “In doing so, hunts are maintaining the traditions of the sport and giving all supporters and followers, whether mounted or on foot, a fantastic opportunity to see hounds working in beautiful countryside. Any member of the public is welcome at our demonstrations so all those interested should contact us and come along to one of our next events to be held in spring next year.”

    Polly Portwin, hunting director at the Countryside Alliance told H&H: “The Alliance has long been encouraging hunts to use every opportunity to demonstrate their lawful hunting activities to the widest audience possible such as at county shows, game fairs and point-to-points. Each year Boxing Day meets remain hugely popular and again, provide a suitable occasion to showcase trail hunting to the public. We welcome these events and look forward to seeing more and more hunts engage further with their local communities, offering reassurance that their activities are legitimate and acceptable.”

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