Friday, August 04, 2006


The Sun

A MAN was convicted today of illegally hunting foxes.

Exmoor Foxhounds huntsman Tony Wright, 52, was fined £500 and ordered to pay £250 costs after a week-long hearing at Barnstaple Magistrates' Court, in Devon.

The private prosecution by the League Against Cruel Sports was the first in England against a fox or stag hunt under the Hunting Act 2004.

Wright, of Exmoor Kennels, Simonsbath, pleaded not guilty to the charge of hunting a fox on April 29 last year contrary to the act.

District Judge Paul Palmer told Wright: "I understand the difficulty that everyone has with the act coming into force."

He added: "What I saw was not exempt hunting.''

Giving the reasons for his finding, the judge said he was of the view that Wright was hunting with two dogs.

Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: "No right-minded person thinks that Tony Wright should have been branded a criminal.

"If people were confused about the Hunting Act before today they will be a lot more confused now.

"We believe that he was trying to comply with the law as he understood it and will be supporting his appeal.

"This is a piece of legislation which took seven years and 700 hours of parliamentary time to get onto the statute book yet still it is illogical and unclear.

"Any law which can put a man like Tony Wright through nine months of court action and tell him he is a criminal for doing something he believed was entirely legal clearly isn't working."

Read More Here

No comments: