We wanted to thank everyone for their support over the issue of the Eggesford Hounds chasing fox trails across Wheatland Farm on 13th January 2018. The hounds were ramapaging across Popehouse Moor, but also hunting trails around the eco lodges. Our facebook post about this generated an amazing reaction – in the following week about 70,000 people saw it either on our page or via shares on other pages (our normal posts reach numbers in the low hundreds) and over 3,000 reacted to it in some way, many of them signing the petition to tighten the hunting ban.
It’s not the first time the hunt have encouraged the hounds into Popehouse Moor SSSI and I suspect it won’t be the last, despite strongly worded exchanges with the Master (Jason Marles – there’s a bit of a repuation there). Our difficulty is that there is so little legal protection to put a stop to it. Unlike other dogs, hounds don’t even need to wear a collar and be kept under effective control – and usually dogs can’t ‘trespass’. Similarly, even though we manage the whole farm for wildlife, and that is a business asset to us, the wildlife doesn’t count as livestock and so has no protection.
That’s why the ban needs tightening and we all need to carry on speaking up for wildlife. It feels like loud vociferous protest is the best option. Even that’s not safe though. The next week week, a South Devon hunt (Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers) attacked a protestor, leaving him needing hospitalisation, with a broken nose and a hoof print on his head.
Note, Mr. Marles has not replied.
Hounds Off! – an organisation advising on how to keep Hunts off your land.