FENLAND WILDLIFE WATCH

Safeguarding the future of our wildife

                                      Hunting with dogs

 The Hunting Act was passed by Parliament in November 2004 and become law throughout England and Wales from 18 February 2005. This is what gamekeepers need to know:

Hunting

Under the new Act, “ a person commits an offence if he hunts a wild mammal with a dog, unless his hunting is exempt.” (Details of what is ‘exempt' are given below).

A person is deemed to be hunting if he “ engages or participates in the pursuit of a wild mammal, and one or more dogs are employed in that pursuit (whether or not by him and whether or not under his control or direction) ”.

The Act defines a wild mammal to include any mammal living in the wild and any wild mammal bred or kept in captivity and then released. Rats and rabbits, however, are excluded and a hare may be hunted by any number of dogs if it has been shot.

Exempt Hunting

In addition to the exemptions in the above paragraph, the following will still be allowed:

  1. Up to two dogs may be used to “stalk or flush” a wild mammal from cover for defined purposes. These include: the protection of gamebirds, wild birds, fisheries, crops and livestock; obtaining meat; and field trials. To qualify as exempt, the above activities must always be done with permission, and “ reasonable steps must be taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found or flushed out the wild mammal is shot dead by a competent person. ” Each dog used in the stalking or flushing out must be kept under sufficiently close control to ensure that it does not prevent or obstruct the shooting of the mammal in question.
  2. One dog at a time (only) may be used below ground to “ stalk or flush ” a wild mammal for the sole purpose of preventing or reducing serious damage to gamebirds or wild birds being kept or preserved for shooting. In this case, the person using the dog must carry written permission (or evidence that he himself is the landowner), which he must produce if asked by a constable. This exemption also requires that all the following conditions are met:
    1. reasonable steps are taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found the wild mammal is flushed out from below ground,
    2. reasonable steps are taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being flushed out from below ground the wild mammal is shot dead by a competent person,
    3. in particular, the dog is brought under sufficiently close control to ensure that it does not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective in paragraph (b),
    4. reasonable steps are taken for the purpose of preventing injury to the dog, and
    5. the manner in which the dog is used complies with any code of practice which is issued or approved for the purpose of this paragraph by the Secretary of State.

Up to two dogs may be used to hunt a wild mammal that the hunter reasonably believes may be injured. Such hunting must be done with permission, must not extend below ground and must end with appropriate action being taken to relieve the animal's suffering. The mammal must not be injured for the purpose of allowing such hunting.

    Assisting Hunting

    A person commits an offence if he knowingly permits land which belongs to him to be entered or used in the course of the commission of a hunting offence.

    Hare Coursing

    The Act also specifically bans hare coursing events, defined as “ a competition in which dogs are, by the use of live hares, assessed as to skill in hunting hares.

    An offence is also committed if a person knowingly facilitates a hare coursing event, or permits land which belongs to him to be used for the purposes of a hare coursing event.

    Penalties

    All the offences under the Hunting Act are punishable by a fine of up to £5,000. Dogs, vehicles and equipment used in a hunting offence may be confiscated and, if appropriate, destroyed. Anyone refusing to pay a fine or comply with a confiscation order can ultimately be sent to prison.

 

Members Area

Recent Forum Posts

by Ady Paul over a year ago

Recent Blog Entries

No recent entries

Recent Videos

2899 views - 0 comments
2356 views - 0 comments
2280 views - 0 comments
2572 views - 0 comments

Recent Videos

No recent videos

Newest Members

Recent Photos