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Show of defiance as ‘last’ hunting season opens

FOX HUNTERS pledged their defiance to the proposed ban on the sport by turning out in large numbers for the traditional start of the new season last weekend.

The hunters said the activity would continue in one form or another and any ban would be unenforceable and impossible to police.

The Bicester Hunt got under way last Sunday when 140 eager horses and 30 excited hounds headed off across the Oxfordshire fields.

About 400 supporters had turned up to cheer on the hunt. They followed on foot and in cars, enjoying the comradeship and the shared sensed of taking part in an ancient rural ritual
Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters braved the rain for the prestigious Beaufort Hunt on the Gloucestershire-Wiltshire border.

Some 200 people on horses and about 400 supporters gathered in determined mood. James Barrington, former director of the League Against Cruel Sports and consultant to the All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group, said the definitions in the Commons version of the bill were unclear and no one was sure what would and would not be an offence.

He said the bill was "unenforceable, unprincipled and unpoliceable".