‘Disappointment’ after ex Fitzwilliam huntsman loses appeal
The Countryside Alliance have said they are ‘disappointed’ former Fitzwilliam Huntsman George Adams has lost his appeal against a conviction for illegal hunting.
Adams was convicted of using hounds to kill a fox at a trial last year - and yesterday lost his appeal against that conviction.
Today, a spokesman for The Countryside Alliance said: “We are clearly disappointed in the judgment but maintain the hunt was, to the best of their knowledge, acting within the confines of the Hunting Act. They were operating openly, as they have been since February 2005, and were confident that their hunting activities were entirely legal. We will assess the judgment and look forward to seeing the Fitzwilliam hounds out again in the autumn.”
However, the League Against Cruel Sports welcomed the verdict.
Martin Sims, director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “Hunts are using exemptions and loopholes in the law to cover up their fox hunting and we welcome the judge’s decision today to uphold the original conviction of George Adams from the Fitzwilliam Hunt.
“The decision to reject the hunt’s appeal shows how farcical the falconry exemption is, and sends a message to hunts across the country that the falconry exemption loophole will no longer wash.
“It is simply ludicrous anyway to believe that a falconer would release a valuable bird of prey to chase a fox when it too could be torn to pieces by the pursuing hounds.”
He added: “We need a proper deterrent to stop the barbaric activities of the hunts and we also need to close the loopholes that allow hunts to get around the law. We are calling for the hunting ban to be strengthened with the introduction of prison sentences for those caught illegally hunting.
“Hunts have a history of exploiting a variety of exemptions in the Hunting Act, which is against the spirit of the law. We hope that today’s decision will put a stop to the use of the falconry exemption as a cover for illegal hunting.”