MFHA - (Masters of Foxhounds Association)

Online Stud Book

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The online studbook is available to members of the MFHA and others, from all countries, who are involved in the breeding of stud book foxhounds. Apply to the MFHA for access with this form.

Hunt Staff Benefit Society

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The Hunt Staff Benefit Society (HSBS) provides personal pension schemes specifically for hunt staff. Find out more about how to join the HSBS, or how to support the HSBS through various Fund Raising initiatives.

Foxhounds

Kennel Self-Assesment Form

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To download the latest version of the Kennel Self-Assessment form, please click here

 

The Hunting Act 2004

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horn and whipThe Hunting Act 2004 came into force on February 18th 2005. It affects England and Wales but not Scotland, which has its own hunting legislation, or Northern Ireland. The legislation was the subject of huge controversy throughout the many years it was debated in Parliament. The 700 hours of parliamentary time spent considering hunting and massive demonstrations against a ban meant that the injustices and flaws of the new law were a matter of public record long before it ever came into force.

On 19th February 2005 every hunt in the country met and they have continued to do so ever since. There have been just nine attempts to prosecute MFHA hunts under the Act and six of them failed. The first, involving Exmoor huntsman Tony Wright, eventually reached the High Court where a very important judgment limited further the chances of hunts being convicted under the Hunting Act. There have only been three successful prosecutions involving MFHA packs and one of those is currently subject to repeal.

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houndsThe British Isles consists of vastly different types of country and therefore hounds have evolved over time to suit different countries. Thus a different a sort of hound is required in the steep fell of the lake district (inaccessible to the horse) than in the hard riding fields of Leicestershire.  However, hounds require some ‘generic’ qualities no matter what sort of country they are hunting  as shown below:

  • Nose.  Hounds hunt by following a scent rather than by sight. 
  • Stamina.  Hounds hunt for many hours a day, two or sometimes three days per week.
  • Cry.  Cry or tongue is very important so that the hound can let other hounds (and the Huntsman and followers) that it has the scent.
  • Pack sense.  Hounds need to work as a pack and not become too independent
  • Speed.  When foxhunting was allowed hounds needed to able to put pressure on the fox during a hunt
  • Drive.  The ability to keep going forward and not to dwell on the line.
  • Courage.  The get back to the pack when separated, to enter thick cover and to kill his fox.
  • Fox sense.  Hard to explain but this is what makes certain hounds stand out from the others. Those who have it find and kill more foxes than others.

The Foxhound has been very carefully bred and in many cases pedigrees can be traced back to the early 1700’s, however the first volume of the Stud Book was not produced until 1841.  The types of hounds mainly seen today are:

The Modern Foxhound

The Old English Foxhound

The Fell Hound

The Hill Hound

The Welsh Hound

The West Country Harrier

Most packs now hunt the Modern Foxhound but many have been bred using a judicious blending of Welsh blood. In some cases packs have out crosses to other types the most recent being the American.