covid grants for hunts

Exposed: tax-payer funded covid grants given to hunts

Protect the Wild expose tax-payer funded covid grants given to hunts

“Families across the country are suffering incredible hardship and having to make tough sacrifices due to Covid-19. Why are hard-working people now being made to subsidise hunts to the tune of £160,000?”

Back in 2020 Protect the Wild sent out Freedom of Information requests to local councils across the UK. What we found was staggering. Due to many hunts being registered businesses it emerged that over £160,000 of taxpayer funded grants had been given to several of them. This revelation led to reports in The Mirror, The Independent and even a front page on The Sunday People.

A Rutland council statement said: “The Cottesmore Hunt is one of a number of organisations in Rutland that was awarded Covid-19 grant funding by the government, with the intention of supporting property costs.

“The eligibility criteria for awarding retail, hospitality and leisure grants were set by the government, and Rutland county council was obliged to provide grants to any company or organisation that met that criteria.

“Local authorities, like Rutland county council, have carried out a purely administrative role within this grant process. Decisions about what types of organisation were eligible for a grant and how much money they should receive were taken at the national level.”


Hunt given £25,000 taxpayer grant caught breaking lockdown rules

In October 2020 Melton Borough Council awarded the Quorn Hunt £25,000 in taxpayer money under the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure grant fund scheme. The funds were part of a Government programme that was set up to provide financial support to struggling businesses and companies that were hit hard by Covid-19. However, many hunts took advantage of the funding because many are registered as businesses and so were eligible for the funding. The Quorn Hunt itself boasts that many wealthy members decided to opt into the scheme too.

Just a matter of months later and members of the Quorn Hunt were caught hunting despite clearly and knowingly breaching strict covid regulations. The ride out was supposedly in celebration of the 70th birthday of the senior hunt master Joss Hanbury. Video footage shows hounds surrounding what appears to be a fox hole or badger sett. There were also reports that three foxes may have been killed on the day.