Dear Labour Party – An open letter about hunt crime

The Stevenstone Hunt hunting foxes in Feb 2024

Dear Labour Party,

We’d like to tell you about hunt crime.

About hunt crime – An appeal to Labour

In our area alone there are three fox hunts, at least one hare coursing pack and frequent invasions by stag hunts from elsewhere. Thanks to them we suffer everything from seeing wildlife torn to shreds to hunt trespass, hound invasions, hound damage and hound poo left where it’s dropped, livestock worrying, pet killing, violence, bullying, threats, road traffic hazards, delayed journeys, blocked roads, wasted police time, mental health issues and more.

We’re not alone. People in every county have the same experiences week in, week out throughout almost half the year.

Very few people hunt but it affects huge numbers of us. Of the 9.7 million people who live in rural areas at least 90% want hunting stopped forever. That’s 8.73 million who have been badly let down by Statute law so poor it’s a challenge for the authorities to enforce. At the same time British wildlife is in crisis and we’re facing runaway species loss. The rural environment and the people who live in it have been abandoned by the hunt-loving Conservative government, ignored by the Establishment underpinning it, and left to fend for ourselves by those tasked with enforcing the law.

Our county council has a ‘we don’t want to see it so we don’t look’ policy around hunting, taking hunters’ word for it that they operate ‘within the law’ while ignoring vast amounts of easily-available evidence proving an ongoing epidemic of illegality. We have hunt-friendly councillors at parish, town, district and county level. In one case the Chairman of a hunt is a councillor with the county council. Again, we are not alone. It’s a scandal that people who knowingly break the law can become public servants.

The hunting community has already had more than enough time to pivot to drag hunting and stop the killing. But their determination to keep hunting proves they are not capable of change and can’t be trusted. To stop this 20 year crime spree and allow us to heal our lives, rural communities need a strict ban on every hunting activity including mythical ‘trail hunting’. The police will agree. Thanks to thirteen years of shrinking budgets and staff cuts they can’t afford to let hunters take the mickey for another two decades in the face of growing public outrage.

The Labour website mentions the measures the party will take to end hunting. We want powerful, unassailable action. The only thing that will work is a total ban on all hunting including ‘trail hunting’, and it must happen fast.

Hunt crime resources for Labour councillors and MPs

We need as many people in towns and cities to know about hunting so they can help us apply political pressure. As a Labour councillor or MP in a rural area, town or city, do you know enough about hunt crime? Please find your nearest Hunt Saboteurs group Facebook page, website or YouTube account, which will show you exactly what fox hunters, hare coursers and stag hunters get up to. Then talk about it at every chance you get.

Thank you.