Spotting illegal hunting

Needless to say, we hope that seekers will comply with the law, however if they don’t, it’s important that they’re prosecuted in the courts and that the Police have the ability to investigate them.

In particular, it’s important to comprehend the distinction between an innocent ‘drag search’, where hounds follow an artificial scent, and the hunting of wild mammals.

There’s nothing wrong with searches going drag hunting – this is what we have encouraged them to do.

Prosecutions need ‘objective’ evidence as opposed to ‘subjective’ opinion. One way is to gather evidence of an offence. This proof should establish beyond reasonable doubt ‘that’ did ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘when’.

Indications of law breaking

  • These signs aren’t, in advance of the prosecution, evidence that the law is breaking. Bear in mind that to accuse an individual of law breaking is not accurate, a libel.
  • These signs indicate grounds for concern and must be reported to the Police or to the League Against Cruel Sports. We can advise you, should you send your concerns to the League.

Signs when observing hound exercising

  • ‘Casting’ (dispersing) of the hounds across a broad area of land or through woodland, gorse or thick cover, as if to allow them an opportunity to get a scent.
  • The hounds running before the riders, and baying (howling/barking) – a sign that a scent might have been discovered, and that the hounds are in pursuit.
  • Baying hounds not being called off instantly, using a horn, bodily contact (e.g. a whip) or verbal command.
  • Where more than two hounds are inside the woods riders posted at different points around a wood

Signs when observing any Kind of ‘drag hunting’

  • Hounds following a scent across regions where the odor was not likely to have been laid, such as across roads, railway lines, hedgerows that are thick or property, and through plants.
  • Hounds deviating from the haul trail, rather than being called back, physical or verbal orders, or using a horn.
  • Blocked badger setts (it’s currently illegal for fox hunts to ‘stop’ badger setts to stop foxes hunting refuge in them)
  • Where more than two hounds are inside the woods riders posted at different points around a wood

Signs when celebrating rats or hunting or rabbits

  • Under the Hunting Act 2004 it will continue to be lawful to hunt rats and rabbits. Hunting rats may be utilised as a defence for mink hunting, and a few hare and fox hunters have said that they will convert to rabbit hunting.

You should be suspicious of:

  1. Dogs pursuing an animal for mor are unlikely because rabbits will go very quickly when 26, to be chasing a bunny.
  2. The hounds must be called off if the hunters are pursuing a hare.
  3. Hares are distinguishable from rabbits in.
  4. Signs when celebrating stalking or ‘flushing out’
  5. Over two dogs used to firearms in the stalking and flushing of mammals.
  6. The puppies killing or chasing a wild mammal.
  7. The dogs not being called off physical or verbal orders, or using a horn if any animal isn’t shot.
  8. Reasonable steps not being taken to make certain that any animal that is flushed is taken.

Signs when celebrating use of terriers

  1. More than 1 dog being used at one time.
  2. Any fighting between the fox and the dogs
  3. The use by people of terriers.
  4. Killing of a spade of a fox by use.
  5. Dogs at a badger sett (it’s iIllegal to put in dogs into a badger sett with no license and only then in certain scenarios)
  6. For more information on what’s going to be prohibited after February 18 please visit see the Hunting Act 2004.