Twiggy Boxing Day plea: report suspicious hunt activities to protect wild animals

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
People across the country are being urged to report any suspicious hunting activity they see this Boxing Day to police – as top model and animal lover Twiggy Lawson joins the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in calling for enforcement of the Hunting Act.
Twiggy Lawson said: "Hunting with dogs is utterly cruel and barbaric and, like many people in the UK, I rejoiced when it was finally banned. Sadly, however, four years on some hunts seem determined to flout the law and hound foxes to death in the name of "sport". It is vital that this important law is properly enforced. IFAW hunt monitors work in the field gathering evidence to assist police but they can't be everywhere. I urge people to report any suspicious hunting activities they witness to the police. No-one is above the law."

The Hunting Act 2004 makes it illegal to chase a wild mammal with a pack of dogs, unless that hunting is exempt. Since the Hunting Act has come into force there have been 31 successful prosecutions in cases brought by public and private bodies and a further 15 individuals are awaiting trial. Earlier this month, two people including a landowner were found guilty of illegal hare coursing at King’s Lynn Magistrates Court.

Robbie Marsland, Director of IFAW UK, said: “The mounting number of prosecutions shows that the law is clear and that the Hunting Act is enforceable. IFAW hunt monitors will be out this season and will continue working with police forces to ensure the law is obeyed. We applaud those forces that are actively attending hunts in their area and would like to see more police forces nationwide monitoring hunts to ensure the law is enforced.”

A specialist resource website - Huntingact.org – was launched earlier this week by IFAW, the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA. It was set up to assist relevant enforcement officials by providing clear information on the Hunting Act and illegal hunting post-ban.

Mr Marsland continued: “The law is on the side of the hunted animal, and we hope 2009 will bring more peace to the countryside’s wildlife as more hunters realise that hunting with dogs does not pay.”

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Jordi Casamitjana, Campaigns and Enforcement Manager, IFAW UK
Campaigns and Enforcement Manager, IFAW UK