Bar The Quorn Hunt From The Outwoods!
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In the Loughborough Echo on 24/12/2015, it was reported that The Outwoods Management Committee will be deciding whether or not to grant access to The Quorn Hunt at their next meeting in March. We have significant concerns over the likelihood of organised wildlife crime, contrary to claims of hunt spokespersons in the aforementioned article, and ask The Outwoods Management Committee to take this into account in March. We outline our concerns below.
It is stated in the Loughborough Echo article by Quorn Hunt spokespersons that a) foxes are not harmed and b) trail scents are used. However, the League Against Cruel Sports in 2011 discovered artificial earths in The Quorn Hunt’s hunting country, used only to breed & encourage foxes for maintaining quarry numbers for sport, as described by The Burns Inquiry 2000. The stated reason of ‘trail hunting’ was demonstrated to be a false alibi used to cover up illegal bloodsport in a report released on 12/12/2015 by The International Fund for Animal Welfare. They were also observed to pursue live foxes on 14/12/2015 by Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs. In addition to the strong likelihood of illegal bloodsport it’s clear that allowing The Quorn Hunt to access The Outwoods runs entirely contrary to The Outwoods Management Plan for the following reasons:
- Killing or removing animals, including for pest control, is listed as an operation likely to damage the special interest of The Outwoods (Point 10).
- Byelaw 12 states that ‘No unauthorised person shall catch or kill any bird or animal, or set any trap, net, or line, or lay any snare for birds or animals, or take, injure, or destroy any birds eggs or nests, or shoot or chase or drive game or other animals or fish in any waters in The Outwoods or use The Outwoods for the purpose of fishing in any waters adjacent thereto.’ Evidence from the League Against Cruel Sports, International Fund Fund for Animal Welfare & Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs shows that The Quorn Hunt are highly likely to be hunting foxes illegally, which clearly constitutes 'unauthorised' even if landowner permission is given.
- Byelaw 13 states ‘No person shall cause or suffer any dog belonging to him or in his charge to enter or remain in The Outwoods unless such dog can be and continue to be under proper control and be effectively restrained from causing annoyance to any person and from worrying or disturbing any animal.’ It’s clear this isn’t the case with The Quorn Hunt, as demonstrated by the 2012 visitor survey results in which numerous people expressed concern over the presence of the hunt.
- Management Objective 1.10 is to protect badgers & their setts, yet fox hunts are known to illegally block & damage badger setts. Both The Fernie & Cottesmore Hunts have been prosecuted for this in Leicestershire (see here & here) and the link between fox hunts & badger persecution is noted in a wider context by Operation Meles, of which The National Wildlife Crime Unit is a member, as well as The Badger Trust in their most recent newsletters.
With all this in mind, we urge The Outwoods Management Committee to consider that The Quorn Hunt are not trail hunting, are highly likely to be committing wildlife crime, and acting contrary to the aims of The Outwoods Management Plan. We ask that they be barred from entering The Outwoods so that its wildlife may be properly protected for generations to come.
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