OK here is my contribution
What is the Hunting Act?
The Hunting Act 2004 bans the hunting with dogs of all wild mammals, and all hare coursing. Its intention is to end a practice that many people feel causes unnecessary suffering to animals. There are some tightly drawn exemptions to the Act, which allow hunting activities to take place in limited circumstances and with the consent of the occupier or owner of the land, such as:
ratting and rabbiting;
stalking and flushing out with up to two dogs; and
using a single dog under ground to flush out wild mammals, such as foxes, in order to protect birds kept for shooting.
A person found guilty of an offence under the Act faces a fine of up to £5,000, and could have their dogs, vehicles or articles used in hunting confiscated. Although this legislation has been contentious while it was being debated, and the Parliament Acts applied to bring the Act into law against the wishes of the House of Lords, the Government is satisfied that it meets human rights requirements, and that it is valid and enforceable.
What is Hunting?
The Act makes clear that hunting with dogs includes engaging alone or participating with others in the pursuit of a wild mammal where a dog is used in that pursuit. Hunting should be understood in its ordinary English meaning, which includes searching for wild mammals, chasing them, or pursuing them with the intention of catching or killing them. Hunting is an intentional activity and there can be no such thing as unintentional hunting. Thus, if a dog runs off after a squirrel in the park, the person accompanying the dog would not be guilty of unlawful hunting (unless he or she then used the dog to hunt the squirrel). Equally, if dogs being used in drag-hunting were to run off after a fox, the drag-hunters would not be guilty of unlawful hunting (unless they then used the dogs to hunt the fox). This is unlikely to be a problem for genuine drag hunters, while pretence would be easy to detect. Suggestions that anyone is obliged to shoot any wild mammal that their dog accidentally flushes out are also entirely untrue.
please feel free to ask questions – i can awnser about fox hunting packs, courseing and ferreting BUT im not to up on terrier stuff or falconry
here are some of my thoughts
– not being able to take 3 dogs ferreting is a bit silly – i have 2 who are very usefull and good – so i cant take my lurcher puppy – how is she going to learn ?
– if i am walking on the fells – my terrier disturbs a hare – my lurcher and my collie chase after it I am classed coursing – OR am unintentially hunting ??????
– as far as i am aware there has been no fox hound distroyed because of the act – there has been one hunt which has dispanded (may be more now) they are all managing to opperate WITHIN the law