Stop hunts using our roads as playgrounds

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We the undersigned request that hunts, hounds and hunt supporters stop using our roads as a playground.

It is requested that Section 27 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Control of Dogs on Roads) be reviewed and updated to reflect the following:

1.            With reference to S.27(4)(b)

An order under this section may provide that subsection (1) above shall apply subject to such limitations or exceptions as may be specified in the order, and (without prejudice to the generality of this subsection) subsection

(1) above does not apply to dogs proved—

(b) to have been at the material time in use under proper control for sporting purposes.

2.            Since the enactment of the Hunting Act (2004) and in accordance with S.8(7)(b) the hunting of a wild mammal is exempt if each dog is kept under sufficiently close control to ensure that it does not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective in S.8(7)(a).

The Hunting Act permits ‘trail hunting’; an activity involving people on foot or horseback following an animal-based scent along a pre-determined route with hounds, beagles or bassets. It effectively replicates a traditional hunt but without a wild mammal being chased, injured or killed.

The Hunting Act also permits ‘drag hunting’; an activity involving people on horseback following an artificial scent along a pre-determined route, where wild mammals are unlikely to be found, with bloodhounds.

3.            There have been numerous occurrences where hounds theoretically ‘under proper control for sporting purposes’ have been witnessed by road users and pedestrians to be out of control on roads and highways. This has caused dangerous situations for motorists in varying road conditions and levels of daylight and has often resulted in death or injury to hounds.

Please see the following links for a small example of incidents involving hunts:

Police investigate after hunting hounds attack fox on busy main road

Shocked passengers on a bus watched as a pack of hunting hounds attacked a fox on a busy main road. Police were yesterday investigating the fox "kill" on the A40 in the village of Abergwilli, near Carmarthen, West Wales.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9882309/Police-investigate-after-hunting-hounds-attack-fox-on-busy-main-road.html

Shocking video shows hunt hound run onto busy dual carriageway and get hit by car on A14. One hound dies.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1057072/fox-hunting-news-fitzwilliam-hunt-hound-hit-car-dual-carriageway-northamptonshire-anti-hun
 

Pack of 10 Cottesmore hunting dogs killed in crash with car in Rutland.

The horrific crash happened on a country lane near Oakham. Ten hounds died after a horrific collision involving the pack of hunting dogs and a car on a country road. The car was being driven along Whissendine Road, Ashwell, near Oakham, where two employees of the Cottesmore Hunt were out on bicycles exercising a group of hounds.

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/local-news/pack-10-cottesmore-hunting-dogs-1725360

Shocking video shows moment cars swerve and brake to avoid horror smash when fox hunt horses and hounds spill out onto busy Dorset road.
 
Video shows hounds and huntsmen on horseback wandering on a busy stretch of the A352 near Sherborne, Dorset. Cars can be seen breaking and moving out of the way amid the mayhem in wet conditions as half a dozen huntsmen trot up the road. In chaotic scenes in wet conditions, the hounds take over the road completely with one dog almost ending up beneath a car​.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7575173/Video-shows-moment-foxhunt-horses-hounds-spill-busy-road.html

Whimpering hounds 'die beside a grass verge after they are hit by cars as a hunt crosses a "busy" road'.

Video shows the moment three hounds died at the side of a road. They were 'hit by cars' when Middleton Hunt crossed a 'busy' road.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4353164/Hounds-die-hunt-crosses-busy-road.html

Astonishing footage shows hunting chaos on busy Dorset road for THIRD time in three weeks as horses and hounds block traffic while rider crawls through hedge.

Traffic in either direction is brought to standstill near Alweston, Dorset. West Country's Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt has disrupted busy roads three times in last three weeks.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7629949/Footage-shows-hunting-chaos-busy-Dorset-road-time-three-weeks-hounds-block-cars.html

Hunting hounds cause traffic chaos after running on to busy A30
"Why were hunting hounds loose on a busy A-road if they were following a trail laid by the hunt?"

Hunting hounds from a Devon hunt caused chaos and stopped traffic as they ran loose on one of the county’s busiest dual carriageways at the weekend.

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/hunting-hounds-cause-traffic-chaos-2586755

If hunts are following a ‘Trail’, a pre laid scent, as they claim, then there really is no excuse for hounds, horses, hunters and support to be all over the roads.

If hunts need to cross roads, make it a requirement that high visibility clothing is worn, hounds are kept under close and 'proper control' as the law requires and that they cross quickly. Stop hunting along road verges and hedges where no person would have laid any trail.

The petitioners hereby request that the Government ensures that such incidents and occurrences are considered in the legislative sense, with a view to preventing continuation of danger to the public and to hounds when permitted forms of hunting are in progress.