Wales’ Boxing Day hunt parades ‘mask cruelty to animals’ say League Against Cruel Sports
Animal welfare campaigners from wildlife charity the League Against Cruel Sports have branded plans for Boxing Day fox hunt parades across Wales as a “lame public relations exercise” which masks the hunts’ brutality.
The hunt parades, the biggest day in the hunting calendar, are set to take place across Wales today despite a series of high-profile incidents which have raised serious questions about their behaviour.
Last month alone, hunt hounds in Powys tore apart a fox in front of a shocked resident who filmed the savage attack outside her home.
In 2021, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), one of the country’s biggest landowners banned trail hunting, to ensure the practice wasn’t being used as a cover for illegal activity.
The landowner is investigating reports by North Wales Hunt Sabs that the Flint and Denbigh Hunt trespassed on NRW land at Moel Famau Country Park in October 2023.
Further, figures compiled by the League show the Flint and Denbigh Hunt is one of the worst offenders in both England and Wales in respect to both suspected illegal hunting and incidents where they caused havoc in rural communities.
Harm to wildlife
Emma Judd, head of campaigns and communications at the League Against Cruel Sports said: “The Welsh Boxing Day parades are nothing but a lame public relations exercise designed to cover up the reality of the harm they cause to wildlife and rural communities. They are attempting to mask that brutal reality, but their masks are slipping.”
The League’s figures showed the Flint and Denbigh Hunt was involved in 13 cases of suspected illegal hunting and 19 cases of hunt havoc which include incidents such as reports of trespassing on private land and running amok on busy roads.
Trail hunting, which campaigners say is simply an excuse developed by fox hunts after fox hunting was banned, has been increasingly called into question and discredited in the past few years.
Chief Superintendent Matt Longman, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on fox hunting crime, described trail hunting this summer as a “smokescreen for continuing illegal hunting” and suggested the Hunting Act 2004 was not fit for purpose.
Emma added: “No one really believes the Welsh hunts’ claims anymore that they are following trails when all the evidence points towards foxes being chased and killed.
“It’s time for change. It’s time for hunting laws to be strengthened in Wales and England so that the barbaric and sordid world of fox hunting is finally consigned to the history books.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.