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News 2013/14 Season


These galleries are the most up to date in the fixture calendar


for ALL the meet galleries go to the recent days out


Scroll down for newsy items/social events etc


Kennels Coffee Morning [Johnny's Hunt]

Last Fixture of the Season


Opening Meet : October 2013

                                                                                                                                     Picture courtesy of T & J Fell

                                    Solicitor Advocate Jamie Foster on "another blow for the League"

On Monday 14th April 2014 the Western Morning News carried an opinion piece by Solicitor Advocate Jamie Foster on the recent Weston & Banwell case and the ramifications.

In "As another hunt prosecution fails, defence solicitor calls for the repeal of the hunt ban..." Defence solicitor Jamie Foster says the case is another blow for the League Against Cruel Sports."

Read Jamie's piece here.



Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Tim Bonner writes: In the last two or three years anti-hunting groups have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on 'investigating' the activity of hunts. They have employed a strange mixture of retired police officers, hunt sabs and private investigators who stalk the countryside with sophisticated surveillance equipment. The sole aim of all this activity is a desperate attempt to prop up the failed and discredited Hunting Act by bringing prosecutions against hunts.

Read more Here

Auction of Promises


A great turnout & magnificent effort from all concerned especially Stan & Margery and also Bruce Walton & David Porter - the Auctioneers-- who managed to sell all 197 Lots!!

raising £8500!!

Click on picture for gallery

Blencathra Chairman Myles Walker presenting a cheque for £500 to Joanna South from Cancer Research UK

  LATEST NEWS : RSPCA prosecutions policy review

On Saturday 1st February the Daily Telegraph published a story entitled "RSPCA risks losing power to prosecute: Independent reviewer considers stripping charity of its right to prosecute following string of controversial court cases?".

The story centres on the ongoing review by former HM chief inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service Stephen Wooler, who, the Telegraph reports, "was appointed by the RSPCA's trustees late last year to carry out a £50,000 review of its role as the major prosecutor in cases involving animal cruelty.?.......(Mr Wooler) said he would examine the charity's approach to prosecutions, from those against fox hunts to those against elderly spinsters who cannot look after their pets.?"


Read Christopher Hope's report in full here.

                                       "2013: an unlucky year for the RSPCA"

You will be interested to read Countryside Alliance animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington's latest blog. In "2013: an unlucky year for the RSPCA" Jim sets out a range of difficulties experienced by the Society, observing: "So much of the RSPCA's work is to be highly commended and some will argue that such criticism of the Society is an attempt to destroy it. That could not be further from the truth and there is no pleasure in seeing how this change from an animal welfare organisation to an animal rights group is slowly killing a once great institution.

"Glyn Davies MP, in saying that he had previously been a strong supporter of the Society, summed it up perfectly during that parliamentary debate last year, "I want my RSPCA back".

Read the blog in full here

You may also be interested in an article in the Times of 16th Jan titled, "Is the RSPCA's fight against animal cruelty in the public's interest?" The article quotes solicitor advocate Jamie Foster as saying: "The real problem is that a campaigning charity now acts as a quasi state prosecutor without the oversight or accountability that such a role merits." It claims to act in the public interest but "time after time we see cases come to court in which it appears that the private interests of the charity are also being served"; a line of cases seemed to show an instinct "to prosecute at all costs".

Latest News ::::: RSPCA to review prosecutions policy

The RSPCA announced [19th Dec] that former chief inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service, Stephen Wooler, is to review the charity's prosecutions.

Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance's Director of Campaigns, said: "The RSPCA is addressing the wrong question: it should be asking itself why it prosecutes, not how it prosecutes. The investigation and prosecution of individuals by one organisation will always raise concerns as it breaches the principle of separation of those roles which the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was set up to ensure.

"No other charity regularly brings private prosecutions and those that did in the past like the RSPB and NSPCC now prefer to work with the CPS. The RSPCA, however, continues to investigate and prosecute and has become the second biggest criminal prosecutor in the country, second only to the CPS itself. The obvious and sensible route would be for the RSPCA to concentrate on investigation and leave criminal prosecution to the state.

"If the RSPCA is determined to continue as a prosecutor there is a desperate need for proper independent scrutiny and accountability. From charging decisions to the abuse of personal data there are huge questions hanging over the RSPCA's activities which will not be answered unless it embraces strong external regulation and a proper complaints process. We are dubious whether that can be achieved through an internal review, but at least the RSPCA is responding to the wave of criticism it has received in the last 12 months."



This week [12th Dec] the RSPCA had an advertisement banned by the Advertising Standards Association for its "inaccurate and alarmist" advert asking "vaccinate or exterminate?" in relation to the badger cull trials.

Countryside Alliance Animal Welfare Consultant Jim Barrington has blogged on this story, observing that "It doesn't reflect well on the RSPCA, especially after the negative publicity the organisation has received throughout 2013, but it is an indication of how certain charities appear to be acting as if they can ignore the rules under which they operate. That may all be about to change." Read Jim's thoughts here.


So often we hear from certain groups that the public, and especially the young, are overwhelmingly opposed to hunting and other field sports. It's a simple message, easy to say and usually without much evidence, other than perhaps dubiously worded opinion polls.

It is certainly not what our speakers are experiencing when invited to schools, colleges and universities. The point is when the full picture of wildlife management is explained and how field sports play a crucial role in that process, people get it.

Even young people, who rightly care about the welfare of animals and, one might think, could not possibly support hunting, begin to understand the activity when it is properly explained to them. They are fully capable of appreciating that wild animals do not live in a kind of woodland utopia and nor do they live in a state of constant fear, fleeing in dread from predators. The feedback is generally along the lines of "How did this Hunting Act ever get passed?" or even stronger, "What is wrong with our politicians?"

The reaction tends to be even more condemning of the hunting ban when alternative and better ways of improving wild animal welfare are discussed.
While we of course have to deal with the immediate political situation and address the numerous attempts to curb our activities from whatever quarter, engaging with the young and explaining the realities of managing our wildlife populations is an investment in the long term.

Jim Barrington
Animal Welfare Consultant to the Countryside Alliance

if you would like to arrange for a speaker or know of a school or college that would welcome a talk,

please contact: henrietta-rutgers@countryside-alliance.org



As yet another RSPCA case against a hunt fails, [7th Nov]solicitor Jamie Foster explains how this situation has occurred, how the ‘public interest’ test was ignored and how the tax payer will pick up the bill.

Click here to read the article.....

And Another......

Charges dropped against former Master of RAC Beagles

A charge of hunting a wild mammal with dogs has been dropped against former master of the Royal Agricultural College beagles, Libby Gilbert.
Libby, a US citizen, was not in Swindon Magistrates Court on Tuesday 12th November when the CPS dropped the charge, which had been brought under the Hunting Act on evidence supplied by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS).

This is another example of the despicable behaviour and harassment of LACS. Libby has been accused of offences under the Hunting Act by LACS on at least two other occasions during her time at Cirencester and each time the charges were dropped.

We are confident that this case would have also gone nowhere and it was ridiculous that LACS should have expected a US citizen to come back to face such a trumped up charge.

Lizzie Salmon, of the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles has said: "This is yet another example of a Hunting Act case that should never have been brought. It was a complete waste of police time and public funds."




                   HUNT LUNCH CALDBECK


                            Click on a picture for gallery







Pictures courtesy of D Atkinson



RACE NIGHT [Oct 13] : Click here for Gallery


SHOWS 2013


Click here for the Shows Page to see Galleries & Results from Lowther,Rydal & Threlkeld



The RSPCA and the Police - Read More here

The RSPCA, the Avon Vale & the tax payer - Read More here

RSPCA fails in prosecution of Cheshire Forest - Read More Here

Another Hunting Act case collapses - Read More here

RSPCA private prosecution collapse reinforces need for scrutiny of charity -- Read more here

Why did the RSPCA shoot dead more than 40 sheep in a grisly dockside massacre? The Daily Mail investigates horrific slaughter of animals unloaded from French lorry
Click here & scroll down the page to see it in full or here for the newspaper article

        If you want to be kind to animals bring back fox hunting

Countryside Alliance animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington has written for leading political website Politics.co.uk. Jim's article is entitled "If you want to be kind to animals, bring back fox hunting". Jim makes the vital point: "Critics say that hunting cannot possibly be a form of pest control as they kill so few compared with other methods. This is to fundamentally misunderstand hunting and wildlife management. Wildlife management is not about numbers killed, but the health and size of the population left alive. A hunt is perfectly suited to achieving this, being a combination of sport, wildlife management and pest control and not just any one of those things."


Click here to read this article by Jim Barrington

Jim Barrington is a former executive director of the League Against Cruel Sports and is now an animal welfare consultant for the Countryside Alliance and Council of Hunting Associations. he is also an advisor to the all-party parliamentary middle way group and an honorary member of the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management.


To view previous news items---click on the relevant years or month(s):


2012/13 Season ; Mar 2010 to July 2012 ; to Dec 10; Jan to Aug 10; 2009 ; 2008; Nov 2007 ;  Aug 2007 ;  May 2007 ;  Jan,Feb Mar and April 2007 ; December 2006    News: 5th Dec 2007 -- response from the Prime Minister's office concerning the petition "to repeal the Hunting Act 2004"to which there were 43,852 signatures......

A clear, concise and powerful argument for the repeal of theHunting Act is detailed in the “Case for Repeal”, a document by the Countryside Alliance setting out why the Act is flawed and why it believes repeal is inevitable. Download a copy of "Case for Repeal" here

The Future of Hunting is Repeal

Make sure you click here to sign up to support the repeal of the Hunting Act


Keeping in touch:

We are very grateful for all the good wishes and financial support that we have received so far. We hope that supporters will continue to keep in touch with us.If you wish to do so contact us.