Backing for independent hunting review following criticism by pro-hunt group
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
Backing has been given for plans to hold a review into the way hunts are policed in North Wales after the move was criticised by pro-hunt campaigners.
The Countryside Alliance slammed North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin earlier this week, accusing him of having “prejudices against rural people”.
It came after the Labour PCC invited tender bids of up to £20,000 from contractors to undertake an independent review of hunting in the region.
The review to consider the way North Wales Police oversees the enforcement of the Hunting Act was labelled as an “unnecessary political vanity project” by the lobbying group for field sports.
However, it has now been supported by North Wales Senedd Member Carolyn Thomas, who said it was vital for wildlife in the region to be protected.
The Labour MS said: “I’ve always been against hunting and bloodsports in all its forms, it’s a horrid bygone from days of feudal lordships, that has no purpose or reason to exist in modern day society.
“I’m shocked of just how frequently I’ve seen reports of fox hunting and badger baiting happening in North Wales and I’m very glad our Police Crime Commissioner has seen fit to offer an independent review into the practices of the hunts and their terrier men within North Wales.
“It is important that we protect our wildlife as they each play a critical role in our ecosystems.
“I 100 per cent support a hunting ban and look forward to seeing the outcome of the report.”
The review was also welcomed by the North Wales Hunt Saboteurs group, which campaigns against hunting in the area.
It followed claims the region’s police force had previously shown “no interest” in taking action against illegal hunting.
Those in favour of hunting have accused Mr Dunbobbin of wasting money after insisting hunts in the area are conducted lawfully.
While his Plaid Cymru predecessor Arfon Jones said he was naive for getting involved in an operational policing matter, the PCC confirmed he would “make no apology” for attempting to tackle wildlife crime.
Mr Dunbobbin said: “The strength of feeling and polar-opposite reactions from all sides in the debate around the policing of the Hunting Act in North Wales show exactly why this review is needed.
“It also signals why any review has to be conducted in a dispassionate, impartial and reasoned way, qualities which my predecessor as Police and Crime Commissioner would do well to learn.
“Far from being either naive of operational issues, or being unconcerned with rural matters, my Police and Crime Plan places the tackling and preventing of rural and wildlife crime, and the people of North Wales, at its heart and I make no apology for fighting their corner.”
The review comes after Mr Dunbobbin said in a post on Twitter last year that the law on hunting was “far too weak” and “not fit for purpose”.
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No hunting in wales 🏴
Rural people? Not sure of the composition of those in red jackets in my part of the country, maybe ‘gentleman farmers’ in Powys? Round here it was a Saturday afternoon’s sheep damage limiting affair; Landrover, gun and a pair of boots…not my cup of tea but Mr Williams had his hens and lambs to protect so who am I to interfere !
To shoot pet dogs killing sheep good foxes bad ?
What are you withering on about? Firstly, foxes don’t kill sheep. Even lambs that are predated (not just by foxes, and a tiny percentage) are often already sick, dying or dead. Secondly, foxes are wild animals that need to hunt to survive. They were there long before humans. Domesticated dogs are not wild and should be under the control of their owners. They do not need to hunt to survive. Basic stuff really.
Of course they don’t want a review, they don’t want anyone to see the crimes they are committing.
Hunting supporters in all
Political Parties – and there are – have a right to their views and also to air them….in public and via lobbying.
…..they do however need to stop ⛔️trying to say they only speak for the countryside and its just part of rural life and is part of a conservation agenda ❓
The facts – right or wrong – are simple in that the over whelming majority of urban and country folk in Walea ( inc Powys ) are AGAINST hunting for fun or farming.
Only the lowest of the low advocate the killing for fun animals claiming either pest control or tradition their reason.
The hunting of foxes for fun needs to stop(the red coat brigade).But in my opinion gun packs who go out to specifically to kill foxes to protect sheep and poultry need to carry on especially in the highlands. Foxes need to be controlled,do any of you have a better way of killing them because the brutal fact is they have to be killed.
Farmers need to protect their own poultry with suitable enclosures..and foxes don’t kill sheep. Shooting foxes is therefore unnecessary, cruel and stupid. Shooting the hunters seems a far better plan.
Once again, if you’ve nothing to hide-what’s the problem!.
The so-called ‘Countryside Alliance’ does not represent everyone in rural parts of Wales. I grew up in a rural area and I deplore blood sports and I know many others who do too.
Stop this barbarism completely!