Red coat & dead fox

This is what the Countryside Alliance want to bring back.

The League is a keen subscriber to the Countryside Alliance’s weekly email newsletter, the snappily titled ‘Grass e-route’. Most weeks it’s a pretty boring mix of justification for bloodsports, and invites to dinner parties where one can hear from Simon Hart and Kate ‘Tally’ Hoey. But this week it got personal, with an attack from Simon Hart on the League containing more spin than Downing Street.


Here’s the paragraph in question:

“Last week the League Against Cruel Sports decided to send an e-mail to every MP and many peers promoting a Parliamentary meeting held on Monday designed to generate support for the Act. The invitation was deemed libellous and after the intervention of the Alliance’s solicitors LACS was forced to issue a retraction and apology to every recipient. The same weekend a motion put before the National Trust AGM on Saturday by LACS Chief Executive Douglas Batchelor seeking information on sporting activities, including hunting, licensed by the Trust was soundly rejected by the Trust’s membership.”

Anyone with a passing interest in the truth will be interested to know the full details of ‘that email’ we sent to MPs and peers. The problem lay in the fact that we referred to an ASBO being issued against a hunt when in fact the hunt had been given a warning under the Anti Social Behaviour Act. We were wrong to state it was an ASBO and that was down to a misunderstanding. So it wasn’t an ASBO, it was a warning under the ASB Act. We published our email on this blog earlier this week, and invite you to make up your own mind.

And Hart’s claim that the League’s resolution to the National Trust was ‘soundly rejected’ is just preposterous. Of the National Trust members who voted, just over 14,000 supported our resolution whereas only 490 more voted against it. The Chairman’s proxy votes – over 6,000 of them – were added to those opposing the resolution. It was hardly ‘soundly rejected’.

The key issue is that the Countryside Alliance and their bloodsport pals have yet to respond properly – without spin – to the fact that the new license for hunting on National Trust land includes a requirement on every hunt to provide details of the dates, times and locations of their activity to any member of the public who requests it. The hunters are curiously silent.

Last week, we passed a file of evidence to police of hunters in the North West hunting illegally on National Trust land. We’ll be exploiting this license to its fullest extent to expose animal cruelty on Trust land and bring more cases to the attention of the police where we can.

It is clear that this is going to be a very eventful hunting season … if one can get beyond beyond the spin.

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