Hunt parades through town centre

By Craig RobinsonA HUNT has paraded through a town centre in a high-profile demonstration of its determination to overturn the ban on hunting.About 25 members of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt met at Higham, on the Essex-Suffolk border, on Saturday before riding into Hadleigh.

By Craig Robinson

A HUNT has paraded through a town centre in a high-profile demonstration of its determination to overturn the ban on hunting.

About 25 members of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt met at Higham, on the Essex-Suffolk border, on Saturday before riding into Hadleigh.

They paraded along High Street and Market Place before riding back towards the kennels at Higham.


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Liz Reid, joint master of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, said: "The whole day went very well and we were very pleased with the level of support we received.

"We started at Higham, where we flushed out a few foxes for a farmer that was having difficulty, and then we moved onto Hadleigh to exercise the hounds before going back to the kennels.

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"I think there was only one group of saboteurs following behind, but they were the only ones that tried to spoil the morning."

She added: "Other from that we had support all the way. In Hadleigh there was a lot of cheering and clapping as we passed and a number of people told me they were right behind us.

"I think it shows how determined we are as a group to try to overturn this law, which I am sure that we will do."

Although the Government's ban on hunting started last weekend, there is nothing in the legislation to prevents hunts meeting and riding out with hounds or "flushing out" foxes to be shot.

Liz Mort, eastern regional director for the Countryside Alliance, said: "I'm very pleased that the hunt has attracted such enormous support and I think it shows just how determined we all are to keep going.

"The infrastructure of the hunts must be kept together until we get this legislation overturned. It is a bad law passed in a bad way and as such will never be respected and will never stand the test of time.

"The sooner the bigoted back benchers who forced the legislation through realise this, so much the better."

Last weekend there were 19 hunt meetings across East Anglia, including six in Suffolk and three in Essex.

Lawrie Payne, regional spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "As far as we are concerned we have no objection to them going out and riding with their hounds so long as they are not taking part in the pursuit of a wild animal.

"However, I cannot understand why they haven't retrained the hounds to follow a drag and then they can get all the enjoyment they had before without the threat of breaking the law."

He added: "As far as trying to get the law changed goes they are wasting their time. They tried to get it over turned by the European Parliament for Scotland and failed and they will fail if they try in England.

"As soon as they come to terms with it, so much the better so that they can move on and start participating in a humane alternative."

craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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