It seems almost weekly now that we see yet another blow for the hunting fraternity. Whether it be another leaked document detailing the inner failings of the senior hunting hierarchy or indeed the news that yet another hunt is desperately seeking new staff, this week the Cumberland Foxhounds became the latest hunt to collapse as they announced their merger with the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds.

As advertised on the now infamous Hunting Office page, a recent update confirms the folding of the hunt stating;

"Pending a successful amalgamation of The Cumberland Foxhounds and The Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds there will be a vacancy for a Huntsman. Accommodation provided, trailer licence essential."
Image: Martin Ansley - Entry 8 Keep The Ban Photography Competition

This is yet another nail in the hunting coffin at a time when hunts across the country are struggling for funding. Leaked internal documents released by Hunting Leaks also confirm that many more hunts will have to be shut down soon. The issues that many hunts are facing are not only financial. Below are the five key areas that hunts have to ensure they satisfy in order to remain viable.  

  1. Kennels and staffing
  2. Sufficient huntable country
  3. Financial viability
  4. Leadership
  5. Ability to carry out legal hunting

Of course when it comes to sufficient huntable country Keep The Ban is doing everything it can to ensure hunts no longer have access to the land that they need to carry out their activities. Thanks to the work of the Hunt Saboteur Association in publishing the leaked Hunting Office Webinars, major landowners such as the National Trust and Forestry England have already committed to temporarily suspending hunting on their land. However if we are to see the demise of more hunts (such as the New Forest Hounds) that rely almost exclusively on land licenced to them by Forestry England, then we must continue to put pressure on landowners to make these suspensions permanent.

Hunting as it currently exists is not sustainable. Since the Hunting Act has came into place the hunts have continually and knowingly broke the law and killed wildlife. The public are beginning to wake up to the lie that is "trail hunting" and it is now only a matter of time before the 2004 Hunting Act is strengthened and properly enforced. Time is well and truly running out for the hunts and Keep The Ban will continue to put pressure on from all angles.

You can take action now to help us end hunting for good.

Head to our Landowners campaign page where you will be able to sign our petition calling on Forestry England to revoke all hunting licences permanently and also use our handy email template tool to send off emails to 16 major landowners in just a matter of seconds.

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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