Richard Brunstrom, chief constable of North Wales and the ACPO spokesman on rural affairs, said: “Hunting is defi nitely not a policing priority. It is not illegal to wear a red coat and ride a horse in a public place. The penalties for hunting do not include a prison sentence for offenders. This puts the Hunting Act to the lower rather than the higher end of offences. Parliament had the chance to include imprisonment as a sentence, but did not do so.”

The Countryside Alliance’s Simon Hart said: “It is of huge credit both to the police and to hunts that the worst predictions of chaos have not come about and that there have only been a tiny number of convictions related to hunts. It is clear that, like the hunting community, the police understand why the Hunting Act must be repealed.”

The rest of this article appears in 21 May issue of Shooting Times.

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