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A-chasing we will go

Roll up, roll up ladies and gentlemen! Book your tickets for a day or two in the verdant British countryside where you will find thrills, spills, adventures, games, rides, puzzles, jokes, wheezes, teases, conundrums and wonders to behold:

The new law banning hunting with dogs is “so poorly drafted” no-one can define the offence, pro-hunt MPs say.

The accusation came after it emerged a Devon man had been told he could use his four dogs to “chase away unwanted animals” from his farm.

Because he did not intend to kill deer or foxes it was not hunting…..

Tory MP Peter Luff, another co-chairman of Middle Way, said that the legislation was “so poorly drafted nobody appears able to properly define the offence”.

“It is no wonder the government desperately wants to move on from this disastrous law. However, I seriously doubt the countryside will be that accommodating.”

Guaranteed fun for all the family.

33 comments to A-chasing we will go

  • Hence why the State doesn’t scare me: they’re almost comically inept at everything they try. Take Canada’s gun control registry for another example. A ham-handed attempt to disarm the population, and it got them precisely nowhere.

  • Lets test the law to the extreme. Make sure that the police are informed before hand and take the dogs for an exercise in the woods. Fill the courts with caswes that the state cannot win.

    Sounds a gas.

  • zmollusc

    If a group of kids standing around my car (after it had been broken into and pushed the length the end of the street into a secluded alley) at 2am can get away with claiming “We done nuffing. We found this car here.” then the huntsmen should be able to go with “I was out exercising my dogs when I found a dead fox.Dogs eat any old crap.”
    I actually think it is a bit rough on the fox, but am hoping natural selection will produce a huge sabre toothed fox the size of a Range Rover, that spits venom. The fox spits venom, not the Range Rover.
    Such a creature (I am thinking of calling it a ‘Deinofox’)would be a boon also to team sports as there are too few scary animals to name sports teams after and they all end up called things like ‘chelsea sharks’.

  • Julian Taylor

    Now there is a slip of monumental proportions. “according to Defra’s lawyers chasing away unwanted animals was “not in fact hunting as described in the Hunting Act 2004 therefore you would not be committing an offence”.” One could therefore use the excuse that a hunt was only scaring pests off someone’s land, or that the hunt was flushing game (flushing is usually interpreted as having people walk through a wood beating the undergrowth to put up pheasants etc. during a shoot).

    The fun, as they say, has only just begun …

  • Jacob

    Don’t you all be so optimistic about gov. incompetence. When they see the law is ineffective, they will try to improve it. Maybe they will try to ban all dogs (like they banned guns).
    You will have to get a gov. permit to own a dog, and it will be confined to your back yard. The regulations will also specify the max size of dog allowed.

  • stoatman


    The dog licence has gone in the UK, but here in sunny Holland, dogs must be registered, and you must pay the dog tax. Rates for Haarlem next year are as follows:

    1st dog – E66.90
    2nd dog – E99.63
    3rd+ dog(s) – E131.74

  • mike

    stoatman: wow! that’s crazy. I will never regard the Dutch in quite the same way again…

    zmollusc: I am in near total sympathy with your warped imagination, except that I’d much prefer a gigantic sabre-toothed fox that would spit Range Rovers rather than venom…! Whenever I see advertisements with phrases like “where/when dreams become reality/come true” – some hidden part of me always feels slightly afraid…

  • Well I attended a hunt evening last weekend and they seemed in fairly good form. Despite the fact the left is crowing victory, I am sure this row will run and run…

  • Gary Gunnels

    All Britain is doing is aiding the economic health of the hunting business in France. 🙂

  • Gary Gunnels

    BTW, does the ban apply to Scotland as well?

  • Is it OK if your dogs accidentally tree an MP?

  • BTW, does the ban apply to Scotland as well?

    Yes, but this guy won his case.

  • Gary Gunnels

    David Farrer,

    So when are they going to ban hunting in Britain altogether?

  • Countryman Joe

    Nowhere in the Act is it defined what hunting actually is. Drawing, scenting, chasing or killing an animal, or doing the first three with intent to kill it? Prosecutions are going to be extremely hard.

  • Ron

    What would they do if you had a full-size hunt, but all your dogs were found to be muzzled?

  • on the contrary, joe, prosecutions will be extremely easy; that is the beauty of a poorly written law. like humpty dumpty’s definition of glory, the law will mean whatever the politicians need it to mean at any given time. want to give a labor mp or a big party contributor a pass if they happen to be around when a fox gets torn to shreds by a pack of hounds? fine, not a problem, he was actually hunting, was he? will a tory mp or major tory backer get the same consideration? not damn likely. the whole purpose of the law is to club people your party doesnt like in the first place over the head and that’s a lot easier to do when you get to decide what the law means in the first place.

  • that should read, wasnt actually hunting. my apologies, i really should remember to do preview.

  • Scotland has a similar law. Here’s an interesting aspect of it:

    “Under the legislation, hunts are banned from using packs of hounds to chase and kill foxes. But the dogs are still allowed to be used to flush out foxes towards people with guns to shoot them.”

  • In the mean time, back in England:

    Giles Bradshaw, who farms near South Molton, Devon, wrote to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs saying he used his four collies to frighten but not kill foxes and deer that came on to his land.

    He had been using this non-lethal form of pest control for six years to get rid of deer which would otherwise eat the branches of the coppice on his 100-acre farm.

    On inquiring if this use of dogs would be illegal, he was told by officials at Defra that the Hunting Act made it an offence for anyone to hunt a wild mammal with a dog unless it was “exempt hunting”, which permits the flushing of a mammal to guns with a maximum of two dogs.

    Mr Bradshaw complained to Defra that this put him in the ridiculous position of being legally obliged to purchase a high-powered rifle, which he did not wish to do, and to shoot any animal that was “flushed” by dogs.

  • Christopher Price

    Ive raised this here before, but didnt get a response. What is the Libertarian stance on the welfare of animals?

    The prevention of cruelty is never suggested as being a function of the nightwatchman state – a state limited to the defence of the rights of humans. So are people free to treat animals as badly as they wish, with a sanction only arising if the animal concerned is owned by somebody? I cant see that as being a particularly desirable state of affairs.

    Ive tried looking in the usual Libertarian literature and on the websites but without so much as a pointer.

  • Well I know for one thing, in case such as animal experimentation, libertarians will side with the humans rather than the animal. I have never heard of a libertarian who agrees with animal rights loons for instance.

    Its a case of choice really. If you want to be a veggy fine but you have no right to make other people not eat meat.

  • speedwell

    As a libertarian vegetarian with no interest whatsoever in what YOU eat, I thank you most kindly for your approval. I just didn’t feel right without it, somehow.

  • Charles Watson-Havering

    I have never heard of a libertarian who agrees with animal rights loons for instance.

    That seems typical of someone who does not really understand what libertarianism actually is. You appear to have some notion that libertarians must fall into your very parochial definition of the word rather than be people who can cover a broad spectrum of differing views and opinion, yet be drawn together on one particular area upon which all agree.

    I support the ‘rights’ of animals not to be muzzled in public; for example, a dog effectively sweats through its mouth and many muzzles inhibit that. I also support the ‘rights’ of imbeciles to gallivant throughout my countryside in pursuit of an inedible pest.

    On the whole, I think I’d side with the dogs rather than the dreadful huntsmen and women.

  • APL

    CWH: “I support the ‘rights’ of animals not to be muzzled in public; for example, a dog effectively sweats through its mouth and many muzzles inhibit that. I also support the ‘rights’ of imbeciles to gallivant throughout my countryside in pursuit of an inedible pest.”

    Animals, other than humans have no rights whatsoever.

  • Julian Taylor

    Wrong. The Protection of Animals Act 1911 does exactly that, gives them rights against one who has “caused or allowed an animal to suffer unnecessarily”. There have been a number of cases where people have been imprisoned following prosecutions, usually carried out on behalf of the RSPCA.

  • APL

    Julian Taylor: “Wrong.The Protection of Animals Act 1911 does exactly that… ”

    Does this act extend to Kazakhstan or Syria, Iran or Zimbabwe?

    Who, does Her Majesty the Queen arrest if a pride of lions disembowel an antelope alive before tearing it limb from limb on the African savanna?

    Is it legal anywhere in the world to own a human being?

    Should Julian, you ever find yourself being dragged through the bush by your neck, I would find it edifying to hear your explanation to the lioness why she should cease and desist in her current occupation because, it is infringing your rights under the protection of animals act 1911.

  • All this could be sorted out if we permited the hunting of all those who wear socks will sandals.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Animals ‘rights’ seem to be a very good litmus test for weeding out faux libertarians who are actually leftist loons.

    Animals don’t have rights, until the day we genetically-engineer sentience into them. Until then, they have zero rights beyond what freedoms we grant them.


  • Jacob

    What about the trees ? Do they have rights too ?

  • Christopher Price

    “Animals don’t have rights, until the day we genetically-engineer sentience into them. Until then, they have zero rights beyond what freedoms we grant them.”

    My attempts to find a libertarian position on animal welfare dont seem to be getting very far this time either.

    I accept they dont have rights so, particularly in the case of wild animals which are not owned by anyone, is there any legitimate prohibition on being cruel to them?

  • Dr Eric

    No wonder the fox I nearly ran over in Central Milton Keynes early yesterday morning was looking so blooming confused!

  • APL

    Christopher Price: “My attempts to find a libertarian position on animal welfare dont seem to be getting very far this time either.”

    None so blind that will not see.

    Christopher Price: “..is there any legitimate prohibition on being cruel to them?”

    1. The owner or the owner of the land the animal is found on, prefers not to be cruel to animals.
    2. Contract law.
    3. Market forces.

  • Amazing. The politicians see the stupidity of the law, but are still too scared to overturn it? I don’t favor senseless animal cruelty… but part of the problem here is that the animal right people are too extreme because they consider animals to be the EXACT moral eqivalent of humans. Pathetic.