Hunting within the law
The Joint Masters of the Western Hunt confirm that it is our intention to conduct our activities as follows until the Hunting Act is repealed:
- To act at all times within the law and according to the Hunt Constitution.
- To conduct legal activities that enable the Hunt to maintain its structure and integrity with regard to our staff, hounds, supporters, subscribers and members.
- To maintain good relationships with farmers and landowners in our hunt country, and to respect and abide by their wishes at all times.
We are planning to do this in several ways within the law, and with the consent and support of the farmers and landowners over whose land we hunt. The activities that we will be undertaking include:
- Hunting an artificial line laid across natural country. Our intention will be to make this as realistic as possible so that it continues to be as unpredictable and thrilling as hunting a fox.
- Hound exercise: between individual lines and in areas of country where lines will not be suitable, hounds may be exercised on a pre-arranged or unplanned route.
- Discretionary fox control within the law, by arrangement with farmers and landowners.
Other information and instructions:
- If you see a fox, the mounted field, foot and car followers should not holloa or otherwise draw hounds’ attention to it, but please raise your hat or otherwise quietly inform the huntsman so he can avoid the fox.
- The Hunt Staff will continue to wear their traditional pink hunt coats so that everyone knows who is in charge of the hounds.
- Hounds will be controlled by hunting horn and traditional methods.
- Those following hounds across country on horses or on foot must stay strictly with the Field Master on the designated route, unless you have been asked to help with the hounds.
- Should hounds begin to hunt a fox, please inform the nearest member of hunt staff or a hunt official, so that they can take the necessary steps to control hounds.
- Mounted and foot followers may be required to stand around a covert to stop hounds hunting a fox or other mammals.
Every effort will be made to ensure an entertaining day for all concerned. Please help us to fight for the future of hunting by continuing to support your hunt, and by observing the objectives and rules set out here.
Please note that all parties are intent on acting within the law as it stands at present whilst working towards getting the Hunting Act repealed.
The Masters of Foxhounds Association have circulated updated versions of The Case for Repeal and the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management’s paper Hunting, Wildlife Management and the Moral Issue.