Three Nottinghamshire fox-hunters face trial after breaching the Hunting Act.
The trio, all from North Nottinghamshire villages, each stand charged with one count of hunting a wild mammal with dogs.
Paul Larby, 57 of The Kennels, Kennel Drive Barnby Moor; Peter White, 57 of Leyfields Farm, Redhill Lane, Kneesall and Jane Wright, 63, of Town Street, Lound, were all due to appear at Mansfield Magistrates Court today (Tuesday, September 20). The court date has been adjourned to October 4.
It is alleged that on January 20 they hunted a wild mammal with a dog at land south of Heleship Lane in Laneham, Nottinghamshire, and that the hunt was not protected under one of the exemptions of the Hunting Act.
Live foxhunting was banned in 2005 and the defendants will not face any jail terms but the court has the power to issue unlimited fines for the offence.
The Kennels in Barnby Moor is the registered address of the Grove & Rufford Hunt – who ‘breed and maintain a pack of foxhounds in order to hunt foxes with hounds’ according to www.groveruffordhunt.org.uk. The hunt says its aims are also “to assist in controlling the fox population in the hunt country at a sustainable level; to engage in equestrian activities with hounds and otherwise; and to organise social events. These activities are to be conducted only as permitted under the laws of England.”
Foxhunting has been banned since 2005 and is only allowed under certain specific circumstances.
Schedule 1 of the Hunting Act says using dogs to hunt wild mammals is exempt when the stalking or flushing out is undertaken for the purpose of preventing serious damage which the wild mammal would otherwise cause to livestock, game birds, crops, fisheries, timber, or other property.
There is also an exemption if the wild mammal is a threat to biological diversity of the area.