Mark Hankinson report includes this:
You can download the full report here.
This memo went out to all the hunts a few days ago, it’s the implementation of the HAG report which we had leaked some time ago. The aim it seems is to cut down on the total number of hunts as the current level isn’t sustainable, in part due to “Too many hunts and not enough good men/ women”.
So when the new chair Andrew Osborne says
“These new measures have not been put in place to bully a hunt into operating in such a way that is unnecessary or unworkable”
It’s difficult to actually believe him, the MFHA either does or doesn’t want to encourage trail hunting as a replacement for fox hunting. If it does then it needs to put an end to certain elements, which was why the Hunting Action Group report touched on terrier work:
“Consider public perception with regard to terrier work”
The latest memo to Masters of Foxhounds in Great Britain:
Recent updates sent out to all the Masters of fox hunts, starts with a welcome to Richard Gurney as Vice Chairman to the MFHA. Many will remember Richard from the webinars scandal:
After being caught out on camera, why has Richard been promoted? Within hunting circles it is well established that the MFHA is very much an “old boys network”.
Other recent updates include upcoming courses, locations and dates:
And one especially for new Masters, worth putting a note in your calendar for Saturday June 26th, as Stratford racecourse has a footpath going straight through the middle of it.
Another big date in the hunting calendar on Wednesday July 21st is the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show:
This email recently went out to AMHB members.
Reprinted below are the entire meeting minutes;
We previously published internal documents from the South Devon Hunt here.
Here are some private emails, the most recent one is from just a few days ago:
When they say they “all agreed to reduce hounds to 45 couple by the opening meet 2020, they are referring to a conversation they had around this time last year. This was how that conversation began on 26th April 2020:
Followed up going into June 2020:
And again in June 2020:
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A few weeks ago, video evidence came from the hunting world that showed Joss Hanbury master of the Quorn hunt had been given a “birthday surprise” by his wife Nicky Hanbury who is also a Master of the Quorn Hunt. So when news came out this week that two Masters were to be suspended by the MFHA, the assumption was that it would be Nicky and Joss Hanbury.
However, Nicky Hanbury has received no punishment from the MFHA at all, the other Master who has been suspended is Rowan Cope, who wasn’t even at the birthday fox hunting event. His statement on facebook:
“So the last thing I wanted to do is explain my position on social media – but when it begins to affect my family and my 75 year old mother, who was interrogated at a hunt ride today, then it’s about time you all know the truth!
I was not present on the 18th March for the birthday meet.
I was not part of the planning and unaware of a ride afterwards. It was Cheltenham Thursday and I was sat with my wife watching the racing. During the day I forwarded a video I received of the event to a few trustworthy close friends for which I am truly sorry for and naturally regret – but that is all I did.
I have since been suspended by the MFHA for 6 months. My name has been dragged through the gutters and an awful lot of bad press including on ITV has belittled me. For the good of hunting and for the proper people who remain in our wonderful sport, we will stay strong and get through this episode. I thank those who have messaged and rang and question those who have spread further gossip. You know who your friends are!
We all move on, no crime or murder has been committed and our sport remains intact for the future. Happy hunting to you all.”
No one has accused Rowan of being at the hunt so his story sounds entirely credible, he has been suspended for simply sharing a video that has brought the world of fox hunting into disrepute. This is an act of whistle blowing and Rowan Cope just like anyone else in the hunting world should be able to share videos or speak out against anything they see as wrong. There is an official document for whistle blowing that you can read here.
But the reality is staff cannot raise genuine concerns without fear of reprisals, as Rowan Cope can testify to.
The MFHA operates a “code of silence” in a similar way to any organised crime gang.
This note sent out to every hunt from the Hunting Office goes into detail about collecting data on anti hunting activists, something which is illegal under GDPR legislation and once again, lay down trails whenever anyone is watching, seems like strange advice IF hunts were all only hunting trails.
As you can see the memo is dated September 2020. If we look at these videos from the Cottesmore hunt, who you can find out more about here, some hunts aren’t interested at all in what the Hunting Office has to say. Hunt stewards should not be attacking hunt saboteurs:
24th December 2020, Northants sabs attacked by Cottesmore.
10th December 2020 Northants sabs attacked by Cottesmore stewards
If you’d like to help hunt sabs in the field, please do go to the Cottesmore hunt page on our website, go down to the lists of emails and copy and paste each block into an email and ask the subscribers and landowners why they are involved in violence towards hunt saboteurs. It’s because they go unchallenged that they get away with it, if the police won’t sort it out, the least we can do is write some polite emails to landowners, some of whom will stop the hunt coming onto their land if they receive enough emails.