A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Tally Ho!

Reuters: English hunts ride out despite ban on dogs---

LONDON (Reuters) - Hundreds of hunts rode out on Saturday to mark the start of the fox-hunting season in England and Wales, in spite of a ban on hunting with dogs.

About 200 hunts exploited loopholes in the government's Hunting Act, which came into force in February, to remain within the law.

Some hunts took a hawk or other hunting bird with them as a way around the ban which still lets hounds chase and flush out foxes as long as they do not kill them.

The riders of the South Durham Hunt took an eagle to their meet in Prime Minister Tony Blair's constituency of Sedgefield in northeast England.

"According to the regulations you are allowed to put a pack of hounds into a wood, so that the bird can hunt the vermin that comes out the other side, be it fox, gray squirrel or whatever," said Mark Shotton, the South Durham Hunt's master.

Shotton said they had been practicing with the bird for a month.

The pro-hunting Countryside Alliance said public support for the ban had fallen to 45 percent, compared with 63 percent in 1999, citing a specially commissioned survey.
On with the hunt!

More: Sky News: Both Sides Claim Victory (with photos)