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Was it the last Boxing Day programme?


The Surrey Union Hunt leaves the first draw with a police escort.
No foxes were seen on the day


On Boxing Day I attended a Fox Hunt just outside of Ockley in the beautiful Surrey Countryside, writes Stan Rawlinson.

I joined some 700 plus foot followers and 144 riders for what is one of the most important days in the hunt calendar.

The Surrey Union Hunt’s day started at twelve, apart from the hounds it appeared that almost every third person had a dog in tow. The hunt treasurer Nigel Morland gave a rallying speech from the back of a four by four. I spoke to numerous people there from plasterers to estate agents, nurses and housewives. All had come to lend their support to what they felt was an unjust and disgraceful use of the parliament act.

There was a large police presence, and the people were determined that their sport and pastimes will continue.

Two mounted female police officers followed the hunt out to the first draw but couldn’t keep up when they started to gallop and jump. Not a fox was seen all day yet this did not in anyway impact on the day.

I attended this meet not because I particularly support Fox Hunting but because in principle I am against the Hunting With Dogs Act which I perceive to be ill worded and badly thought out, this law could criminalise dog owners all over the land.

In a democracy, bigotry and prejudice should not drive politicians to impose their personal moral judgements upon others, especially when the most of the politicians are urbanites who have not the faintest inkling what hunting and the social implications are to the rural community.

Hunting should never fall within the category of being so unacceptable and urgent in terms of standards of human behaviour that it justifies government and political interference. It should be left where it rightly belongs; as a matter of personal conscience and choice.