Vote on whether Peterborough is ‘suitable’ for Festival of Hunting

The Festival of Hunting in Peterborough has already generated opposition this year, and that may soon be extended depending on the outcome of a vote next week.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 10:22 am

City councillors will debate a motion next Wednesday put forward by Cllr Ansar Ali which, if approved, will call on the authority to outline its opposition to the event.

The motion from the Labour and Co-operative member for North ward states: “This council believes that Peterborough is no longer a suitable place to host the Festival of Hunting.

“This council resolves to ask the leader of the council to write to the chairman of the East of England Agricultural Society to request that it does not host the Festival of Hunting at the East of England Showground in future.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Harry and Lisa Smith with the League's 'fox'

The festival, which takes place today (Wednesday, July 21), has also been the subject of protests in Peterborough city centre.

A few weeks ago, League Against Cruel Sports campaigners gathered outside the cathedral where its own ‘fox’ and local campaigners handed out leaflets calling for the festival to be cancelled.

Head of campaign Nick Weston said: “This squalid celebration of the brutal world of fox hunting has no place in a modern day 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.”

The motion from Cllr Ali makes reference to the fact that the city council has previously banned all forms of hunting on its land.

It adds: “This resolution is a clear reflection of members’ rejection of the facilitation of hunting for sport in Peterborough.”