Hunting could be banned on Peterborough public land

Hunting could be banned on public land in Peterborough, with city councillors set to vote on the issue next week.

Saturday, 5th December 2020, 4:36 am

A motion has been submitted for Wednesday’s Full Council meeting by Labour and Co-operative member for North ward Cllr Ansar Ali, which states: “Peterborough City Council notes that fox hunting, deer hunting and hare hunting with dogs is illegal under the terms of the Hunting Act 2004, except where an exemption applies.

“Most registered hunts claim to now be ‘trail’ hunting, an activity invented after the ban which allows hunts to claim that any chase of a wild mammal is an accident rather than intentional.

“This council resolves that it will not permit trail hunting, exempt hunting, hound exercise and hunt meets on its land.”

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The Fitzwilliam Hunt

Traditionally, the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt hosts Boxing Day and New Year’s Day meets.

The Boxing Day hunt is held in Stilton (outside of Peterborough), while the New Year’s Day hunt is in Wansford.

In 2018, a former Fitzwilliam huntsmaster was convicted of illegal hunting, while hunts in the Peterborough area have seen clashes between supporters and saboteurs.

Peterborough Hunt Sabs said it is “absolutely right that hunts should not be permitted from hunting on council owned land”.

It added: “Following the recently leaked ‘Hunting Office Webinars’, fox hunters in the UK have been exposed as carrying out a wide reaching and concerted conspiracy to disguise the fact that they continue to hunt wildlife under the smokescreen of trail hunting.

“Hunting has surely now had its day - there is no place for this barbaric activity in the 21st century. We, along with all other right minded individuals in this country, think it is time that hunting with hounds was consigned to the history books.”

Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “At a time when councils should be focusing on how to best address the needs of local residents during this global pandemic it is frankly shocking that the Peterborough City Council Labour group would attempt to waste valuable council time and resources arguing over whether to ban people from trail hunting on public land.

“This motion wreaks of a cheap political stunt and should be voted down accordingly. Focus should be on serving communities across Peterborough, not pursuing divisive class war politics.”