On 1 December, South Wales Hunt Saboteurs announced that the Caerphilly and District Hunt is folding. The news shows that hunting is on its knees, and an end to the brutal blood sport is in sight.
The hunt’s closing meet will take place on 6 January 2024, and it announced that it will dissolve by the end of January 2024. The proposal to disband was voted on and unanimously agreed upon at the hunt’s EGM. The hunt stated:
“The discussion and debate on hunting past, present and future was enlightening and invaluable in helping us to reach the end decision.”
It’s clear that the hunt has realised that fox hunting no longer has a place in UK society.
Another one bites the dust
The hunt is one of many that have either amalgamated or folded in England and Wales in recent years.
In August 2023, four packs – East Kent, Ashford Valley, West Street and Tickham – amalgamated to form one single pack called the Kent Hounds. Also in August, North London Hunt Saboteurs visited the kennels of the East Essex Hunt and found them abandoned. Then at the end of August, the Llandeilo Farmers Hunt announced its closure. The Puckeridge also merged with the Essex with Farmers and Union for the 2023/2024 season, becoming the new Puckeridge and Essex Union Hunt.
Previous to that, hunts that closed down in 2022 included the Killultagh, Old Rock and Chichester Hunt; the North Norfolk Harriers; the Tanatside Hunt; and the Tettcott Hunt. Also in 2022, the Banwen Miners Hunt announced that it was hunting ‘clean boot’, where the hounds chase a human volunteer. You can read more about clean boot hunting here.
As for Scotland, the change in hunting law has effectively made hunting mammals obsolete. Fife Foxhounds announced that it would fold after 267 years in January of this year. Just before that, the Airedale Beagles – which hunted hares – closed down. Then in March 2023, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Foxhounds announced its closure six weeks after the country’s tighter hunting ban came into force.
Protect the Wild’s Glen Black nicely summed up the state of the hunting industry when he wrote:
“The contemporary world is abrasive to the hunting industry. Access problems, expanding road networks, changing land use and dwindling interest mean a majority of hunts face compounding financial pressures. In other words, hunting is not suitable for the modern world.”
Support those on the ground
Hunt monitors and saboteurs on the ground are crucial. They don’t only prevent animals from being killed; their footage and photos have made a vital contribution to a cultural shift against blood sports in the UK. These days, footage of the torture of foxes or stags circulates widely – not just on social media, but in the mainstream press. The British public knows that hunting needs to be confined to history, and hunting packs that are still standing are finding that their support is waning.
As the remaining hunts die a slow death, you can support hunt saboteurs, taking direct action to save foxes. Consider donating to South Wales Hunt Saboteurs as they confront the region’s remaining hunting packs. You can donate here.
- You can also join us in our campaign to get a new law to ban hunting in England and Wales. The Hunting Act 2004 isn’t fit for purpose, so Protect the Wild is urging the government to introduce the Hunting of Mammals Bill. The new legislation would stop hunting in its tracks, and finally give wildlife much-needed protection from illegal hunting. Please support it and help us make it law. You can read the Bill in its entirety by downloading a pdf version here. You can sign our petition for a proper hunting ban here.