Peterborough protest over city hunting festival

Protesters took to Peterborough’s streets on Thursday to call for the cancellation of a hunting festival taking place in the city.

By Joel Lamy
Friday, 2nd July 2021, 12:28 pm
Harry and Lisa Smith with the League's 'fox'
Harry and Lisa Smith with the League's 'fox'

League Against Cruel Sports campaigners gathered outside Peterborough Cathedral where its own ‘fox’ and local campaigners handed out leaflets calling for the Festival of Hunting to be cancelled.

The event is being held at the Showground on July 21.

Nick Weston, head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “This squalid celebration of the brutal world of fox hunting has no place in a modern day Peterborough. The city has already taken a stand against hunting – it’s time for them to put this into action.

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“Incensed local campaigners are calling for the Festival of Hunting to be cancelled – fox hunting was banned in this country 16 years ago and many Peterborough residents will be rightly appalled that this event is taking place in their city.”

A new League Against Cruel Sports campaign group covering the whole of Cambridgeshire has been set up by local residents.

In Peterborough, the city council has previously banned all forms of hunting on its land.

Mr Weston added: “We will be calling on the city council to debate the issue and take the steps to ensure this festival never returns to Peterborough.”

The festival’s official sponsor is the Countryside Alliance, which said last year when the event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic: “The defence and promotion of hunting always has been, and will continue to be, absolutely core to the mission of the Countryside Alliance.

“One of the key objectives of our dedicated Campaign for Hunting is to demonstrate support for all forms of legal hunting with foxhounds, beagles and other types of hounds while highlighting the benefits hunting brings to individuals, the environment and the rural economy.

“Whether you follow on foot or on a horse, it is the hounds themselves that unite us and being surrounded by like-minded people at the Festival of Hunting enables us all to peacefully enjoy everything that is so spectacular about the sport for which we are so passionate.

“Sadly – and undeservedly – hunt supporters can encounter hostility because of the pastime they enjoy, but on this particular day we are grateful for the chance to openly show our support for hounds and hunt staff while indulging ourselves in all things hunting - and hound - related.”

The event’s organisers have been contacted for comment.