Don’t mention the F word: fox hunting in Yorkshire

By Roseann Hughes

Apart from Brexit, another thorny issue from Theresa May’s election campaign was the subject of fox hunting.

The Prime Minister promised she would hold a vote on the legality of fox hunting but without a majority, it looks like no vote will happen.

Horse riders can still meet and travel across the countryside with fox hounds – as long as they don’t intend to kill a fox.

The West of Yore and the York and Ainsty North hunts merged and rode out together in North Yorkshire on Saturday.

A friend of the West of Yore hunt, who didn’t want to be named, said: “We’re meeting for legal hunting activities. No-one’s actually hunting – they’re going for a day out. During the hunt, you get access to countryside that you normally wouldn’t.”

A false trail was laid by the hunt master in the early morning. More than 40 people turned up to the event, either to take part or to watch.

The friend added: “The masters know where they’re going. The followers don’t.”

The West of Yore hunting group was established in 1931. Fox hunting has been illegal since 2005.

Another follower said: “I think the future of hunting will continue as it has done for hundreds of years. It’s very much a polarised topic. The ban happened over ten years ago. Probably more people take part now than they did.

“I can’t see it changing. It won’t be made legal again, but we can still enjoy the day without setting out to catch a wild animal.”

The hunt ended at 3pm on Saturday afternoon. No wild animals were killed.

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