PROTECT OUR WILD ANIMALS
WARNING: This site contains images of animals killed and mutilated by Hunts which you may find distressing
..... 20th May
- Cameron praised hunters for helping him win General Election The Prime Minister sent
a text to Vote OK early in the morning the day after the election thanking them for 'all your amazing work'.
Vote OK mobilised hunters to canvass in constituencies to help get pro-hunt Tory candidates elected.
..... 18th May
- Sturgeon hints that SNP may vote to help block Hunting Act repeal The leader of the SNP
has said that the Party has yet to decide whether or not to break their usual policy of not voting on purely English/Welsh
issues, but may do so in the case of Hunting Act repeal.
..... 16th May
- Hunt supporters press for early vote on Hunting Act repeal Following the Conservative victory
in the general election, hunters are lobbying for the promised free vote on repeal to happen soon. They believe they now have
a clear Commons majority for this.
AT LAST! LACS AGREES NEED FOR HUNTING ACT STRENGTHENING
POWA, which has strongly argued the case for strengthening for many years, is delighted that
the League has finally acknowledged that the Act must be significantly amended to ease enforcement and enhance deterrence.
In a November 18th report on the tenth anniversary of the passing of the Hunting Act 2004, LACS stated that they would
now seek three major amendments:- a total ban on terrier work and digging-out, a 'recklessness' clause and provision
for a prison sentence of up to six months.
POWA hopes that the RSPCA and IFAW will follow suit and that the leading anti-hunt
organisations will be able put our heads together to agree the details of the necessary amendments and to persuade,
at least, the Labour Party that they should be enacted. An outline of POWA's proposals for how the Hunting Act should
be amended can be seen here, and a narrative account of how Hunts currently are able to carry
on live quarry hunting with very little fear of sanction is here.
IFAW AGREES NEED FOR STRENGTHENING - RSPCA, WHAT'S KEEPING YOU?
In March 2014, IFAW monitors filmed the Cattistock FH chasing a fox. The CPS refused to prosecute,
so IFAW referred the matter to the RSPCA. They issued a summons against the Huntsman. In March 2015 [yes, a full year after
the alleged crime] RSPCA lawyers suddenly decided that there was 'no realistic prospect of a conviction'. The
Huntsman claimed they were 'trail hunting' and he'd no idea they were chasing a fox. The lawyers decided
they could not meet the onerous requirement to prove 'intent' on his part. However, the video published by IFAW suggests that hunters must have known that hounds were pursuing a fox, which at least one of them had clearly
seen on a road not long before - and hunters were quite close to the hounds. One has to wonder, if that evidence was not strong
enough to convict, what would be? IFAW, who had already described 'trail hunting' as 'an alibi for illegal
hunting' were so exasperated by the outcome that they announced they now believe that strengthening of the HA is essential.
YEARS ON, Hunts still routinely bend and break the spirit and letter of the Hunting Act, still chase and
kill wild animals for fun, still bring terror and havoc to our countryside - and almost always escape justice. The 'cynical
subertfuge' the Judge scorned in dismissing the appeal by the Fernie hunters in 2011 is the norm not the
It is a priority for POWA to support independent monitors, who bravely seek to expose Hunt wrong
doing and the weaknesses of the current legislation - at considerable expense and risk to themselves.
POWA utterly opposes any attempt to repeal the existing Hunting Act, but regards amendments to strengthen it as
essential if the obscenity of live quarry hunting with dogs for 'sport' is to be properly punished
Bill gained Royal Assent on 18-11-2004
The Hunting Act 2004 came into
effect on 18-2-2005
Full text of the Hunting Act 2004 is HERE
POWA's main role is to campaign for a complete,
effective and enforceable ban on the hunting of wild animals with dogs in England and Wales.
ten overwhelming Commons' votes, over seven years, in favour of a complete ban on hunting, the will of the people and
their sovereign Parliament finally overcame decades of resistance and mendacious propaganda from the rich and powerful
bloodsports lobby and a largely compliant media - democracy indeed!
POWA believes that the Hunting Act 2004 has manifest deficiencies which, in practice, make it of very limited utility
in preventing organised Hunts carrying on chasing and killing wild mammals for 'sport'. Hunts are able to do
this by exploiting the numerous loopholes and/or by pretending to be ‘trail hunting’ and ascribing any incident
involving wild mammals as 'accidents'. Monitoring reports countrywide appear to confirm that many, perhaps most hunts,
engage in such behaviour.
Nevertheless, the Act, so long and hard fought
for, is a lot better than nothing - and of huge symbolic importance. POWA therefore also campaigns against any attempt
to further weaken or repeal the Act and to ensure, as far as possible, that it is complied with in the hunting field and upheld
through the courts.
But - like its long-illegal fellow bloodsports,
cock and dog fighting, bull and badger baiting - the hunting of foxes, deer, hares and mink with packs of dogs must
be consigned to the history books in practice, not just in theory.
about the need to strengthen the Hunting Act was warmly received and apparently understood by many delegates
at the Labour Party Conference in September. Amongst those to visit our stand
and express support were several members of Ed Milliband's Shadow Cabinet,
plus Shadow junior ministers, MPs, PPCs and other delegates. Visitors were able
to view the powerful new Campaign to Strengthen the Hunting Act [CSHA] video, at the content of which many
delegates, including some from the police, expressed shock and outrage. Our campaign is spreading
far and wide and gaining momentum. For Conference pics see the CSHA website.
The CSHA video is now on the website [and YouTube] and can be viewed here.
is difficult to interpret
and apply and difficult for the CPS to prosecute."
Judge Daniel Curtis, of the Hunting
Act. He had to acquit members of the Holderness FH of illegal hunting because of insufficient
evidence of intent, August
2013. A resident's CCTV had shown their hounds chasing a bloodied fox
through his garden.
"It was totally and utterly barbaric and shocking."
the 'not anti-hunt' resident of Bradfield, North Essex,
after hounds of the Essex & Suffolk FH
chased a fox into his garden, savaged it and the Whipper-in then beat it to death
with a blunt object, leaving blood stains on
the patio - all in front of the whole family and a guest, on 10-12-11.
Police took no action against the Hunt.
present situation is currently unsatisfactory. The volume of footage available (taken by hunt monitors) leaves
the objective viewer in no
doubt on the balance of probabilities that it is ‘business as
usual’ for many hunts because enforcement is so difficult... Such widespread and public disregard for the
law is likely to bring Parliament and the criminal justice system
into disrepute.” Stephen
Wooler, ex Chief Inspector of the CPS in his report
to RSPCA September 2014
idea of trail hunting is either shambolic or a sham. You lay fox urine
to make the hounds able to fox
hunt and if you come across a fox on your way
you can then hunt it." CPS prosecutor at trial
of a JM, the Huntsman and the Kennel
Huntsman of the College Valley & N.Northumberland
FH, October 2014
Below, see how hunters change the beautiful,
sensitive, living creatures portrayed above - for 'sport'.
The Hunting Act has not stopped
them. Please join POWA's campaign
to have the Act strengthened.
'HUNTING ANARCHY' is a film made by independent monitors
a few years ago. It illustrates how hunts in the South Midlands are who they observed continued to chase foxes much as before
the ban - and were able to get away with it. Click START below to view the film.
Rescued by her 'Guardian angel' ! The moment a young vixen being attacked by the Old
Berks FH hounds is saved by a brave young female hunt monitor and POWA Associate, 14th November 2012
To see rescue video click here
MORE HUNT MONITORS WILL MEAN MORE HUNTERS IN COURT
The Heythrop FH - the P.M.'s own - are the latest to be
found guilty of illegal hunting, in what was the first ever prosecution of a Hunt as a Body Corporate, on 17/12/12. A former JM and
their ex-Huntsman also plead guilty, to four counts each, This followed convictions of the Senior JM and a terrierman of the Meynell and S.Staffs FH at Derby
Magistrates Court on 9/8/12. Several weeks earlier, two senior members of the Crawley & Horsham Hunt and their ex-Huntsman
were convicted for hunting foxes. In January 2011, the Huntsman and terrierman of the Fernie Hunt
were found guilty of illegal hunting, and their Appeal scornfully dismissed by the Judge in October.
These hunts have been successfully prosecuted and convicted because
of the hunt monitors, who have captured film of their illegal activities, footage which has provided the evidence needed to
bring these people to justice. It is very encouraging that, at last, the sterling efforts of the monitors are beginning to
show results in the Courts. But most hunts are never visited by monitors. More monitors would mean more convictions.
POWA strongly supports the work of the monitors, and we suggest that there are some
people who may now feel they want to join a monitoring group and keep up the momentum against the hunts. If you want to become
a monitor, or talk to a monitor for advice, please email POWA - via the contact button to the left of this article
- and we will refer your query to someone in your area.
AS THE RAIN LASHES DOWN, POWA ASSOCIATES
ARE SHOWERED WITH AWARDS
2014 - POWA congratulates the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire Monitoring Group who have been given the Special Investigation
Award by the RSPCA for gathering the huge amount of video evidence that resulted in the prosecution and conviction of the
Heythrop Hunt, often while being obstructed, abused and assaulted by hunt followers. Most of the monitors, who operate
independently, are also POWA Associates. POWA also congratulates its Associate John Bryant, a former CEO of LACS and
twice an RSPCA Council Member, who has been awarded the Queen Victoria Gold Medal for services to the Society. The awards
will be presented at a ceremony in Whitehall on 1st March.
PATRICK STEWART BECOMES AN HONORARY ASSOCIATE OF POWA
The renowned actor, who narrated the revised version of the anti-hunting film 'A Minority Pastime', provided this statement:-
"I am delighted to accept the invitation to become an Honorary Associate of Protect Our Wild Animals.
I am strongly opposed to the cruel and barbaric 'sport' of hunting wild animals with dogs and was delighted when this
was banned in England and Wales in 2004.
However, it appears that both the spirit and letter of the law
continue to be flouted by some organised Hunts. I fully endorse POWA's efforts to expose such activities and
in campaigning for the Hunting Act to be strengthened in order to make the law both more of a deterrent and easier to enforce."
Fulsome congratulations to the incredibly dedicated team of hunt monitors [many of
whom are also POWA Associates] whose evidence, on December 17th 2012, led to the convictions of the Heythrop Hunt, a former
JM and its ex-Huntsman on 4 charges each of illegal hunting. They had taken similar evidence of illegal hunting by the Heythrop
and other local Hunts to the police 30 times before in recent years, and either been fobbed off each time or found the CPS
making excuses for not getting the cases to court. So, many thanks to the RSPCA, under their CEO Gavin Grant, for
their courage in taking on the prosecution of this rich and powerful Hunt and for the Society's unflinching
stance in response to the vitriol since heaped upon it by the pro-hunt lobby.
The monitors have also had to bear repeated
assaults, threats, harassment, vile abuse, obstruction and property damage from Heythrop riders and followers, 14 of
whom have been convicted or cautioned for such offences in the last six years. Monitoring is not just a very trying, emotionally
draining, time-consuming and dangerous business - it is expensive. POWA assists the monitors when it can, but has limited
resources itself. You can help enable the monitors carry on their work of exposing and bringing these flagrant animal
abusers to justice by giving to POWA, using the 'Donate' button [left].
PETER BUNCE R.I.P.We
greatly regret the sad and untimely death in July 2014 of Peter Bunce, one of POWA's founders.
Below is a selection
of tributes paid to him by fellow POWA Associates.
Penny Little - "Peter
was my very good friend. I first met him in the early '90s when he became involved in the campaign to ban
was kind, humorous and principled. He was a good listener, he cared about the underdog, and he would always help anyone
who was in trouble. He was passionately opposed to cruelty to animals, and he was prepared to put time and effort into
changing the things that needed to be changed. He
was a believer in decency, honesty and fair play, and he was always an adherent to those high standards in which he believed..... None of us can remember Peter without a smile, a
smile of affection, of remembered jokes and remembered conversations, of pleasure in shared successes. But above all
a smile of loving remembrance of Peter the endearing, clever, funny man, the generous friend in need, the modest and remarkable
man that he was."
Christine Harris - "He was such a talented and caring person, who was always
there to help. His work in the field has helped push our cause forward immeasurably."
Graham Forsyth - " His line in A Minority Pastime that
still rings so true to me and I am sure to many others was; "I just want this cruelty to stop and stop in my lifetime."
Denise Ward - "He was so valued and will be so
missed. I first met him when I went to his house to film him for 'A Minority Pastime'. His scene is one people always
remember. His measured and ironical remarks after he is dragged around and battered on the head till the blood poured down
make the point so beautifully.... Peter defined courage and rightness in a a uniquely clever, modest and reasonable way...
and made the world a better place by being in it."
- "The planet is surely a better place owing to the contribution Peter made towards the welfare of wild animals
and they have lost a true friend."
Alan Kirby - "Peter was a close POWA Associate
of mine for 13 years. We lived far apart and I met him only a few times, but we were in regular email and phone
contact. He was calm, kind, ever obliging, with a wry sense of humour and unshakeable determination. The very best sort
of Englishman. POWA and the persecuted animals he strove to defend will miss him dreadfully."
"WHEN CRIMINALS CIRCUMVENT THE LAW IT
SHOULD BE STRENGTHENED TO STOP
NOT REPEALED TO REWARD THEM"
*Click HERE to read POWA's case to
strengthen the Hunting Act,
including our proposed changes
Read POWA's statement on the High Court Ruling in 2009 on the Hunting
This confirmed that 'intent' to hunt a wild mammal must be proved
and that 'searching' is not 'hunting'. The CPS dropped nearly all their pending cases as the
evidential burden was now too great.
These cases included charges against the Huntsman of the Heythrop FH - the home
hunt of David Cameron, who has ridden with them in the past. It is widely supported by the famed 'Chipping Norton
set', including Rebekah Brooks and husband Charlie, who are known to be friends of the P.M.
POWA ♥ Hounds Off
Despite the Hunting Act, hunters
and their dogs are still running amok and intimidating law-abiding folk, trespassing on private property. New
site Hounds Off is encouraging a countrywide network of hunt-free zones, creating an ever-growing land area where wildlife
has sanctuary. Use Hounds Off to help you ban your homestead to hunters, wherever it is. Support Hounds Off on Facebook
Hounds Off has issued
a Progress Report
being coursed at the notorious Waterloo Cup|
|The Hunting Act has succeeded in stopping organised coursing events||
LATEST POWA PRESS LETTER
16Th February 2015
POWA wrote to nnewspapers stating that,
10 years after the Hunting Act came into force, many Hunts are still engaging in wilful live quarry hunting.and that the Act
desperately needs to be strengthened to stop them.
See POWA press letters
LATEST POWA PRESS RELEASE
27th October 2014
POWA Press released to national and regional press informing them
that LACS had finally accepted the need for sttrengthening of the Hunting Act and that this would make it more likely that
illegal organised hunting would be made much more difficult in future
See POWA Press Releases
in Devon desperately fleeing from the hunt|
|Deer hunting continues using the 'Research' exemption in the Act|
hounds are rewarded - by a public road|
|Fox hunting is disguised as 'trail' hunting - chases & kills are always claimed to
cuts off hare's tail to reward his hounds|
|Hare hunting continues in the guise of rat or rabbit hunting|
|Hare sent flying high into air by pursuing muzzled greyhounds|
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