A: The hunting of rats with any number of dogs is allowed on the hunter’s own land or on land on which he has been given permission to hunt.
Happily, rat hunting is exempt from the provisions of Section 1 of the 2004 Hunting Act.
This means the hunting of rats with any number of dogs is allowed on the hunter’s own land or on land on which he has been given permission to hunt by the occupier.
In the case of unoccupied land, permission must be obtained from the person to whom the land belongs. The rat hunter does not have to flush the rats to Guns or to a hawk and may simply carry on his business with the assistance of terriers, lurchers and other dogs.
Given that rats are no less wild mammals than foxes or hares, the exemption of rat hunting from the mischief of the 2004 Hunting Act demonstrates as well as anything else the breath-taking hypocrisy of its proponents.
I know of no prohibition on the use of smokers to flush rats to a pack.