Hopes high of re­turn to ‘real fox hunt­ing’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Alex Clar­idge aclar­idge@thek­m­group.co.uk

OR­GAN­IS­ERS of two Box­ing Day hunts are hop­ing that this year’s events are the last where they will be forced to use an ar­ti­fi­cial scent

Hun­dreds of spec­ta­tors gath­ered to watch the East Kent Hunt at El­ham and the Ash­ford Val­ley Hunt, that set off from The Vine in Ten­ter­den.

Both have been spray­ing a scent for hounds to fol­low since the Hunt­ing Act came into force in 2005.

But if the Con­ser­va­tive Party wins the gen­eral elec­tion, it has promised a free vote on the re­peal of the Act.

This year’s East Kent Hunt saw 48 mounted rid­ers and a crowd of 800 hunt sup­port­ers pack into the vil­lage.

Hunt spokesman Nick Onslow said: “Box­ing Day was an­other huge suc­cess and we just hope that come next Box­ing Day we will be hunt­ing real foxes again.

“The Hunt­ing Act is a non­sense and was an act of class war­fare, a spite­ful ef­fort to hurt those in the hunt­ing com­mu­nity.

“I know the Con­ser­va­tives have got more im­por­tant things to do like sort out the econ­omy, but with this free vote and sup­port in the party for a re­peal of the Act, there is a chance of hunt­ing prop­erly again.”

The Hunt­ing Act 2004 out­lawed hunt­ing with dogs, par­tic­u­larly fox hunt­ing, but also the hunt­ing of deer, hares and mink and or­gan­ised hare cours­ing.

Pic­ture: Chris Davey PD1659130

The scene in El­ham as the East Kent Hunt ar­rives in the High Street

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