Conduct at the South Herefordshire Hunt
FIRST INTERIM REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE INDEPENDENT ENQUIRY ESTABLISHED BY THE MASTERS OF FOXHOUNDS ASSOCIATION
The Masters of Foxhounds Association has established an independent Panel to enquire into the circumstances which led to the recent suspension of members of staff and the closure of kennels at the South Herefordshire Hunt, following allegations that fox cubs had been brought to the kennels, caged without food or water and subsequently released to, and mauled and killed by, hounds. The members of the Panel of Enquiry are Sir John Chadwick, Bill Andrewes and Pauline Tolhurst MRCVS.
The Terms of Reference require the Panel of Enquiry to determine (amongst other matters) whether, if those allegations (or some of them) are well founded, (a) any of those who were Masters of the South Herefordshire Hunt at the relevant time (and, if so, whom) had authorised the events (or any of the events) which are alleged to have taken place at the kennels; (b) any of those who were Masters or members of the Committee of the South Herefordshire Hunt or were otherwise in positions of responsibility within that Hunt at the relevant time (and, if so, whom) were aware that such events might take place; and (c), if not, whether they should have been so aware. The Panel of Enquiry is also required to determine whether the South Herefordshire Hunt is adequately resourced, managed and administered to carry on hunting with hounds and the activities incidental thereto; having regard, in particular, to current legislation (including the Hunting Act 2004 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006).
The Panel of Enquiry are to report their conclusions to the Committee of the Masters of Foxhounds Association and to make such recommendations (including, in particular, recommendations in respect of action to be taken under the Rules of the Association) as they consider appropriate, including interim recommendations arising out of any provisional conclusions which they may reach from time to time.
The members of the Panel have seen and heard excerpts from video and sound recordings which have been made available to, and broadcast by, the BBC. Those excerpts support a provisional conclusion that young foxes were caged in a vehicle used by the South Herefordshire Hunt and were subsequently taken into a building in which hounds were kenneled. Further, those excerpts support a conclusion that the corpses of young foxes were taken from that building and disposed of in a waste bin on Hunt property. Without further investigation it is impossible for the Panel to reach a definitive conclusion as to what actually took place – and, in particular, as to what took place within the building – and (pending further investigation) it has not done so; but the Panel is satisfied that there are good reasons to think that the actions shown by the video and sound recordings which it has seen and heard had no place in the activities of a recognized Hunt; and that it is necessary to understand why and how they were allowed to occur by those having responsibility for the South Herefordshire Hunt.
A full and thorough investigation will, necessarily, take some time. How much time is likely to depend on the extent to which the Panel receives co-operation from those who know what took place; on whether the prosecuting authorities commence criminal proceedings; and, if so, on how long it takes for such proceedings to come for trial. But, until the Panel has an informed understanding of the circumstances in which the actions shown by the video and sound recordings which it has seen were allowed to occur by those having responsibility for the South Herefordshire Hunt, it is satisfied that the interests of the hunting community require that all hunting activities of the South Herefordshire Hunt should cease.
In those circumstances it is the firm and unanimous recommendation of the members of the Panel of Enquiry established by the Masters of Foxhounds Association that the Committee of the Association exercise its powers under section A.4 of the MFHA Rules to suspend all hunting activities of the South Herefordshire Hunt until further notice.
29 June 2016
Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show 2016 Results (including Old English)
Modern Foxhound Breeding
Foxhounds have changed over the years but their evolution has never been left to chance. They are carefully, and sometimes controversially, selected. What kind of pack do you follow? by Martin Scott
Several types of hound are bred to hunt the fox in this country and around the world, though at the moment, sad to relate, they cannot serve their purpose here. Fashion has had a hand, to a degree, in the lines people have followed and this has not always been good for the hound itself. Fortunately, certain breeders have stuck to the type that suits them, their country and their hunt. This must be encouraged, not derided, especially when such hounds are needed as an outcross, for example with the Old English foxhound. In England only a handful of purebred Old English foxhound packs remain, and a similar number in Ireland. Likewise, in the United States and Canada the demise of the American foxhound and the English foxhound to make way for the crossbred and the Penn-Marydel-type, caused by the spread of the coyote, may create problems in the future, as the use of the two original types is reduced.
Read the rest of this article on The Field website
Symposium on Wildlife Diseases and Conservation
Following successful symposia in 2006, 2008 and 2010 a fourth Veterinary Association of Wildlife Management (VAWM) symposium is to be held at The Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE on Thursday, 15th November, 2012
Topics will include:
The “Big society” and conservation
“One health” – integrating human, domestic animal and wildlife health
Life in the Wild – contrasting the life of wild and domestic animals
Disease threats from animal imports and pet travel
Bat disease surveillance
Avian reintroductions and poisoning
A number of distinguished speakers have already been secured for what promises to be another influential and important meeting on wildlife diseases and conservation. Full programme and details will be published on the VAWM website
Hunting Act convictions
The Ministry of Justice has released new figures on Hunting Act convictions in England and Wales in response to a Parliamentary Question. In 2010 36 people were convicted of Hunting Act offences. None of those was employed by, or connected with, any hunt registered with the Masters of Foxhounds Association. Only one of those convictions relates to a hunt registered with the Council of Hunting Associations, of which the MFHA is a member.
Complete data from the Ministry of Justice from 2005 – 2010 shows that 181 people were convicted of Hunting Act offences. Just three of those people were connected to MFHA packs and three with other with registered CHA hunts. More than 97% of Hunting Act convictions did not involve hunts.
A Countryside Alliance press release on the conviction figures can be viewed here.
Hunting, Wildlife Management and the Moral Issue
The Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management (VAWM) has updated its report "Hunting, Wildlife Management and the Moral Issue" and is required reading for supporters of hunting with dogs.
The group has 570 supporters who are general veterinary practitioners and are spread across England , Wales, Scotland and Ireland . Many have had years of clinical experience with all common species of domestic and wild animals. Some are, or were, in the pharmaceutical industry, some are academics with a wealth of research experience, five are veterinary professors and six are fellows of the Royal College of Pathologists.The objectives of the Association are to promote the sensible management of British wildlife by methods that are advantageous for the welfare of wild animals and which promote or sustain the health and vigour of their species.