Hopes high of return to ‘real fox hunting’
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.
The scene in Elham as the East Kent Hunt arrives in the High Street