Introduction

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On 18th November 2004 hunting with dogs was banned in England and Wales with the passing of the Hunting Act 2004. The ban on hunting with dogs became law three months later on 18th February 2005. The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 pre-dated legislation on hunting in the rest of Britain by two years.

Before the Hunting Act came into effect many hunters announced their intention to flout the law. A ‘Hunting Declaration’, founded by Prof Roger Scruton, accumulated over 50,000 signatures from people prepared to break the law in the event of a hunting ban.

The Hunting Act was the culmination of many years of campaigning by the League Against Cruel Sports, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) along with other groups and individuals. A 2009 Ipsos MORI poll showed that three out of every four people in Britain (75%) thought that fox hunting should remain illegal and 72% of those in rural areas do not want fox hunting legalised.

Since the implementation of the Hunting Act, professional hunt monitors have continued to document the activities of hunts. The League, IFAW and the RSPCA are now working closely with enforcement bodies and their evidence has led to successful public and private prosecutions.

This website has been produced for police officers and the Crown Prosecution Service as a means of sharing the wealth of expertise that has been built up on the enforcement of the Act.

    
International Fund for Animal WelfareLeague Against Cruel SportsRoyal Society for the Protection of Animals