Hunting: A Case for Change

A comprehensive analysis of hunting and its impact on wildlife and people

An extensive research project into the observations and findings of hunt saboteur and monitor groups during the 2022/2023 hunting season.


Executive Summary:

“Hunting: A Case for Change” sheds light on the extensive observations and findings of hunt saboteur and monitor groups during the 2022/23 hunting season. The report combines data from anti-hunting groups, public reports, and activist observations, presenting a critical examination of the impact of hunting on wildlife, communities, and individuals. It also addresses deficiencies in existing legislation and proposes recommendations for a more robust legal framework to ban the hunting of mammals with dogs.


Key Findings:

The report reveals alarming findings, including:

  • Widespread hunting of foxes, deer, and hares despite the Hunting Act 2004 legislation.
  • Common instances of ‘dig outs’ during hunting, violating laws protecting badgers.
  • Physical violence towards anti-hunt activists, ranging widely in severity, being common amongst hunts across England and Wales.
  • Specific hunts, like the Warwickshire Hunt and Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, repeatedly reported chasing and killing foxes in front of activists.
  • A significant portion of hunts remained unobserved, potentially leading to higher fox-chasing and killing incidents than reported.
  • The very presence of packs of hounds in the countryside is a threat to wildlife even if not actively hunting.
  • The frequency and levels of policing of hunting varied across hunts observed in the 2022/23 season, with no uniform approach across English and Welsh police forces
Key Numbers:
Key statistics from the report include:
  • 15,180 estimated hunt meets in the 2022/23 season.
  • 46% of registered ‘trail hunts’ were caught chasing or killing foxes in the 2022/23 season.
  • 92 different deer were chased, and 24 were killed by hunts in the 2022/23 season.
  • 2000+ meets of hare hunting packs were recorded in the 2022/23 season.
  • 211 instances of hunt violence were perpetrated – 198 minor attacks and 13 major attacks.
  • 599 reported traffic offenses, trespasses, road havoc, and non-quarry-based incidents.
  • 169 non-quarry incidents, the majority of which related to badger sett interference.
  • 343 police vehicles attended hunting activities in the 2022/23 season.
  • 1/3 of observed Blackford and Sparkford Vale Hunt days saw a fox chased or killed.
Critical observations and trends

The report emphasizes that despite existing legal frameworks, hunting practices exploit loopholes and gaps in legislation. Acts of violence against activists are recurrent, creating a hostile environment inhibiting accountability. The report urges for stricter regulations, proposing a comprehensive ‘Hunting of Mammals Bill’ to address these issues.



The proposed legislation aims to remove all loopholes, acting as a watertight ban on all hunting with hounds. Recommendations include a ban on ‘trail hunting,’ increased liability for landowners, enhanced ‘search and seizure’ powers, and ensuring hunting groups are held accountable.



The report concludes by urging policymakers to consider these critical insights and support the Hunting of Mammals Bill as the most effective way to properly ban all hunting with dogs.

Robert Pownall, CEO of Protect the Wild, emphasises:

‘This report is a wake-up call. The findings underscore the urgent need for a more stringent legal framework to protect wildlife and communities. We call on policymakers to support the Hunting of Mammals Bill as a crucial step toward ending the harm caused by hunting practices.’


  • To read the full report download the PDF here or click the image.

This report wouldn’t have been possible without the courageous monitors and saboteurs out in the field standing up to the hunts. Their tireless work throughout the hunting season and their dedication in writing reports on their experiences continues to be absolutely vital. Without direct action the public cannot be shown what really goes on in the British countryside. To thank the brave sabs and monitors who witnessed all of this first hand, please consider supporting your local hunt saboteur or monitor group.