The Kennel Club has, for a considerable time, been extremely concerned regarding the plight of up to 20,000 hounds, should hunting be banned.
In 2003, shortly after the KC wrote to all politicians to urge them to consider the welfare of hounds as part of their hunting deliberations, the Kennel Club became instrumental in encouraging the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) to set up a Working Group to investigate the future welfare implications for hounds used for hunting if hunting is banned.
The Working Group considered the future welfare of the hounds and not the extremely complex issues surrounding hunting itself. The group invited interested parties to submit both written and oral evidence and information on the welfare implications for these hounds and paid particular attention to people with experience of hounds, whether that be breeding, training, hunting or re-homing.
After receiving evidence from a number of sources the report, published in June this year, made various recommendations including some hounds being retrained for draghunting and some being suitable for re-homing. The report stated that euthanasia should only be considered as a last resort, once all other avenues had been explored. The report can be viewed on the KC’s homepage – www.the-kennel-club.org.uk.
The KC hopes that both Government and the hunts themselves will seriously consider the issues raised and the KC will continue carefully to monitor the situation and make further representations to Government.