The number of prosecutions for hunting with dogs is at an all-time high.
Since 2010 the number of people charged under the Hunting Act of 2004 – which came into force in 2005 – has risen rapidly, from 49 in 2010, to 72 in 2011, to 84 in 2012, and to 110 in 2013.
Fox hunting is the main target of the ban introduced by the Labour party and the 2012 figures include successful prosecutions and convictions of members of the 176 year old Heythrop Hunt, as well as the hunt itself, with which Conservative UK Prime Minister David Cameron had ridden six times before the ban. Fines totalled more than £26,000, after the court was shown and accepted filmed evidence of members of the Heythrop encouraging their dogs to illegally kill foxes.
See also BAIT in Charity Matters June/July, and the resulting reader’s letter in this issue.