Jackanory was a bit of an institution when I was a nipper. Various celebs would sit in a big comfy chair in front of the camera and read classic children’s stories. Can’t say this generation would find it appealing but I guess that’s progress of sorts although I have to say the Countryside Alliance and some hunts seem to have taken it well and truly to heart.

A story broke last night from an undercover investigation carried out by the League Against Cruel Sports. It involved the Buckminster Estate, the Belvoir Hunt and a captive fox.


It’s unclear where the fox had come from but why it was being kept in a brick outbuilding in very poor conditions is one question which should be answered and another is why did a man arrive with a net and a bag on the day when the hunt were meeting close by.

Now it doesn’t take the mind of Sherlock Holmes to work out what was going to transpire here. We’ve known foxes were caught in advance and bagged to be released in front of the hounds for some time however this is pretty damming evidence and proof that it goes on. Bagged foxes have little chance of escape. They’re usually in poor condition (the fox in question was underweight and dehydrated) and they’re released in an area they don’t know so can’t use the land to the best of it’s ability. Luckily LACS removed the animal and it was treated at a wildlife centre before being released (full story here: BBC East Midlands )

bag man

Of course the estate in question and the employee who arrived with the bag claim they’ve done nothing wrong and the Belvoir hunt are denying all knowledge of it. Hardly an unexpected response but in reality it’s right up there with Roald Dadl in terms of fiction.

The next big dose of Jackanory comes from Timmy ‘Bonehead’ Bonner of the CA. He’s claiming the Hunting Act is in tatters as 250,000 people will turn out to support the traditional hunts on Boxing day. Lets have a little look at these claims.

Of course we all know the Act isn’t really fit for purpose and the hunts openly flout these laws as the loopholes written into it are big enough to drive a fleet of horse boxes through however that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Rather than scrap the Act it should be strengthened and policed properly. Anyway, I digress – the numbers.

There are close to 300 hunts in the country. Now most but certainly not all of these will be out on Boxing day and if the British people really wanted to see a return to hunting then you would expect a huge turnout to these events. Now even using the CA’s own figures that would only add up to around 830 people per hunt supporting. That’s really not that many when you think about it and equates to 0.39% of the population. Of course the reality is wildly different. I’m out every Boxing Day helping those with compassion to save our wildlife and I’ve seen how many people turn up and I’ll tell you now those numbers are complete fiction. I would safely say you could remove a zero from that 250,000 and you may be a bit closer to the real figures.

The CA also did a survey apparently (well done them!) and produced some figures for their justification to a return to hunting (obviously we can’t verify their numbers but they probably made them up anyway) but lets have a look.

“80 per cent of registered hunts had held onto their supporters or recruited new ones, since the ban”.

So most hunts held on to their supporters and got a few more. Nothing really to shout about there. Hunt supporters will always support hunts, just the same as I’m not going to change which football team I support. They tend to have children as well so no surprise they got a few extra (indoctrination of the young is paramount to them). But that still suggests that 20%, that’s a fifth of all hunts are declining. Hmm, doesn’t sound so rosy now does it Timmy old boy.

“91 per cent hunt the same number of days, or more, each season, with 85 per cent of hunts having the same number or more hounds, in the last eleven years”.

Hunts are generally run like a business. They hunt on specific days. They have to do this to keep the money coming in. This is their primary revenue stream. Claiming their hunting days are a reflection of health is nonsense. You can’t run a shop if you’re never open.

The size of a pack of hounds generally remains fairly stable. They’ll have a viable breeding stock and there’ll be the usual turnover in new ones and old ones, I say old, they’ll usually be retired via a bullet at the age of 6 or so. It just doesn’t make any sense to increase the numbers of hounds, there’s just no point economically or from a hunting point of view so that’s another non relevant stat.

So there we are, a big festive dollup of ill conceived propaganda.

So have a great Christmas break, thanks for your support over the year and here’s to progress and compassion. If you want to do something and improve your life and the live’s of animals try going vegan for January and then maybe for ever. It really is the way forward for the planet, for the animals and the people. We can feed the world, we can save the environment and we can open our eyes to the lies we’re being fed by our Government and the media. Get out there and make a difference.


  1. Sally says:

    Thank you so much for all that you do and for bringing the truth to the publics attention. I live in North Devon, a very rural area, but still the vast majority of people detest hunting, shooting etc. Thanks to you more and more people are becoming aware of the despicable behaviour and blantant disregard of the Hunting Act by the bloodthirsty pathetic few.
    Have a love Xmas Day and good luck for Boxing Day. How awful that time of ‘Peace & Goodwill’ should involve a day which the few use to cause horrendous suffering to animals.

  2. David Smee says:

    Thank you for an intelligent reasoned reply to the CA “animal welfare officer” Christmas humbug.

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