THE RECENT letter from Joe Duckworth, the new CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, (Observer letters, August 3), encouraged readers to report the activity of their local hunts. Not only is he inciting a wholly unnecessary ‘big brother’ citizen surveillance operation, he also demonstrates a comical lack of understanding of the Hunting Act.
Joe believes that hunts are regularly breaking the law and 200 have been convicted. I hate to burst his particular bubble, but of the 181 convictions under the Act, only six of those relate to registered hunts: the rest have been for poaching – which has absolutely nothing to do with the hunts.
When he talks about his ‘professional observers’, he is mainly referring to a tiny number of obsessed individuals who hide in bushes or openly film hunt followers and their children. Is this really the act of a registered charity? Mr Duckworth is basically condoning vigilantism when the hunts’ stated intention is to hunt within the law and most enjoy good relations with their local police.
The Hunting Act is now seen by those who were responsible for it, including Tony Blair, as a bad piece of legislation which fails on all fronts. Joe Duckworth and his small band of animal rights activists are doing little more than wasting police time with their pointless pursuit of law-abiding hunts.
Countryside Alliance Regional Director South East