This is why Kirkbymoorside Town Council shouldn’t permit a Boxing Day parade for the Sinnington Hunt

The Sinnington Hunt is expected to hold its annual parade in Kirkbymoorside this Boxing Day. However, hunt saboteurs and monitors have repeatedly exposed the hunt as perpetrators of anti-social and criminal acts. Does Kirkbymoorside Town Council want local residents and the wider public to view it as a supporter of such behaviour?

Anti-hunting activists have repeatedly witnessed the Sinnington Hunt and its followers engaging in anti-social and criminal behaviour. It includes illegal hunting, badger persecution and traffic offences. The activists reported at least ten different incidents connected to the hunt during the 2022/23 season alone.

On 17 September 2022, for example, York Anti-Hunt League said the Sinnington Hunt’s hounds chasing a fox near Butterwick. The chase even took hounds through a field of cows, who were spooked by the pack. York Anti-Hunt League witnessed the hunt chasing a fox once again on 9 November 2022. Then, a week later, the hounds chased a fox through the fields of several villages before the fox managed to escape.

At the end of that month, Hull Wildlife Protectors released footage of the hounds hunting a fox near Salton. Meanwhile, the hunt is no stranger to traffic offences either. Activists have found the Sinington Hunt’s supporters blocking roads, driving illegally on public roads, and even chasing deer. York Anti-Hunt League even found badger setts blocked by the hunt at the same 9 November meet at which it chased a fox.

All of these incidents happened during just one season, and represent just the tip of the iceberg of what it gets up to when people aren’t holding it accountable.

This is most clear in a document published by Hunting Leaks. An internal hunt report relating to the 2019/20 season openly discusses hunting foxes and how to hide it from both police and saboteurs.

Boxing Day parades are PR events

Are these incidents the type of behaviour that Kirkbymoorside council wants its town associated with? Protect the Wild contacted Kirkbymoorside Town Council about the Sinnington Hunt holding its Boxing Day parade. We provided some of the aforementioned incidents as examples of why the council shouldn’t allow the hunt to use its land. In response, it said:

“In response to the questions asked, I can confirm that Kirkbymoorside Town Council has not received any communication from Sinnington Hunt. Please be advised that the Town Council has no affiliation with Sinnington Hunt and permission has never been requested for any associated such event to be held on Town Council land. For your information the only property owned by Kirkbymoorside Town Council are the town cemetery, play areas a Old Road and Ryedale View, Manor Vale woodland and the sports field on New Road.

“The authority responsible for the highways is North Yorkshire Council. “

North Yorkshire Council is currently discussing whether or not to permit hunting on its land. As Protect the Wild previously reported, a council overview committee will discuss it on 11 September before returning the topic to a full council debate on 15 November.

Nonetheless, Kirkbymoorside Town Council is well within its rights to take a public stand against the hunt just as, for example, Keswick Town Council did against the Blencathra Foxhounds. This must be particularly crucial given the Sinnington Hunt’s legacy of anti-social and criminal behaviour. Kirkbymoorside Town Council’s stand against the parade could also inform North Yorkshire Council’s decision, as was illustrated by the (failed) attempt by Ledbury Town Council to stop the Ledbury Hunt’s Boxing Day parade.

Boxing Day parades are public relations events for hunts. The Sinnington Hunt will use its Kirkbymoorside event to try and hoodwink the public into thinking it abides by the law and no longer hunts wildlife. However, hunt monitors and saboteurs have repeatedly proven this false. The hunt not only hunts foxes but is committed to aggressive acts to prevent being held accountable.

Please sign our petition to Kirkbymoorside Town Council, encouraging it to put an end to the Sinnington Hunt’s Boxing Day PR event.