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24 September 2014

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New year, new hunting arguments?

A mounted hunter and his hounds
A mounted huntsman and his hounds
The New Year brings hangovers, recycling and hunting with hounds. But will this be the last year hunters ride off their hangovers this way?

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Hunting is an issue that divides the country - and our patch - irreparably.

In the latest on the row, the House of Lords have opposed a complete ban on hunting with hounds but the government could still use the Parliament Act to make a ban law.

The issue was strangely absent from the Queen's speech, but Tony Blair has pledged to "resolve" the issue of a hunting ban before the next general election.

 A huntsman on his horse
A huntsman on his horse
Warwickshire has a very strong tradition of hunting and the Warwickshire Hunt is still one of the most active packs in England.

The county is also home to the powerful and passionate Warwickshire League Against Cruel Sports Group.

We have the details of how you can actively join either side of the argument in 2004, the year that might see the last Boxing Day meet ever.

The Warwickshire Hunt
The Warwickshire Hunt is one of the very few packs that still actively hunts four days a week. The hunt's kennels are situated in the village of Little Kineton, in south Warwickshire. The kennels house the hunt horses and 50 couples of hounds.

Hunt history

 A distant view of the hunt
A distant view of the hunt
The Warwickshire Hunt's history can be traced back to its formation in 1791.

The kennels at Little Kineton were built on the existing site in 1839.

Between World War One and World War Two, the Warwickshire Hunt was one of the country's most prominent packs.

From 1853 - 1985, the north part of the county was hunted by the North Warwickshire Hunt. This hunt was disbanded in 1985 and some of their area was returned to the Warwickshire Hunt and some was dispersed between the Worcestershire and the Croome and West Warwickshire Hunts.

New Year hunt

The hunting season started on Boxing Day, which is the biggest day in the hunting calendar.

The New Year hunt also has a long tradition in Warwickshire. This year, the hunt is meeting on 1 January, at Willoughby House at 11.45am.

There are a number of meetings between these dates and after the new year. Follow the link on the left to their website for more details.

Invitation to join

Visitors are invited to experience the Warwickshire hunt, whatever their age and knowledge of hunting. Interested people are asked to email the hunt secretary, with this email link.

The hunt has a scheme to support and inform newcomers, with special rates and personal attention.

Warwickshire League Against Cruel Sports
The Warwickshire League Against Cruel Sports Group campaigns against all forms of sports involving animals.

They concentrate on fox hunting and hare coursing in the Coventry and Warwickshire areas but also investigate deer and mink hunting.

Group history

 An injured fox receiving treatment
An injured fox receiving treatment
The League Against Cruel Sports began life in 1924 as the League for the Prohibition of Cruel Sports in London.

It has since campaigned across the country for changes in law, conserving rare species and offering advice to landowners.

Action through Christmas and the New Year

The Warwickshire League Against Cruel Sports Group raises public awareness with anti-hunting demonstrations and leafleting all over our area.

Through the New Year, the group is continuing to monitor the Warwickshire Hunt and the other local and bordering hunts.

Over recent years the group has amassed signatures through petition stalls throughout Coventry and Warwickshire for local MPs and Tony Blair. As the government debates continue, so will their petitioning and door-to-door leaflet distribution.

The group are also available for school and college talks and are happy to work with other animal welfare groups.

Invitation to join

The Warwickshire League Against Cruel Sports Group welcomes new members. Email using this email link for more information, to join or to make a donation.

The group also urges people to write to Tony Blair to appeal for a ban on hunting with dogs. Their website, linked on the left, has tips for writing appeals.

Getting involved
For more information about the Warwickshire Hunt and the Warwickshire League Against Cruel Sports Group, follow the links on the left.

Both groups are inviting new members and have all the details you need to get involved.

Your views
We want to know what you think about hunting in Warwickshire.

Is hunting cruel and should there be a ban on hunting with dogs? Is hunting an important part of Warwickshire's tradition and economy?

Follow this link to the message board to read other people's views and to join in the hunting debate.

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